Is May field trip season for other schools too, not just ours? It’s such a busy time of the school year!
I know we’re not alone with the struggle of under-funding for the school in general, but especially with field trips. However, it’s still important for our students to get out into our communities to learn and grow! Here are some ideas on how to hold field trips when funding isn’t available or is limited.
Fundraise: I knooooow, I can hear the groans through the screen of your preferred device. Fundraising can be so daunting and exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be. Put the kids in charge! Let them brainstorm and help out as much as possible. And involve parents, too. This way you have help and everything doesn’t have to fall on you. The 1st graders in our school did a year-long fundraiser where they sold smelly pencils and erasers after school. One student was in charge each day and they worked together to raise money, enough to fund a field trip to the local bowling alley!
Reach out to businesses/ field trip locations: Some zoos, aquariums, arcades, playlands, etc. are willing to offer grant applications or extremely reduced pricing for school field trips, especially if you qualify under Title I. It never hurts to ask what they are willing to do for you when funding is limited!
Find free locations: If your school is close to a local park, library, college, grocery store, restaurant, business, etc. utilize these free locations to cut down on costs greatly!
Walk, if possible: And if any of these locations are within a reasonable distance of your school, walk there! It’s like two field trips in one when you not only have the main activity, but the walk to and from as well!
Ask for donations: I knooooow it’s almost worse than fundraising! Because it feels very vulnerable. But when your heart is in the right place trying to raise funds to bring your students on a field trip, it’s a worthwhile cause to ask others for help with funds. A simple letter home to parents about their plans for a field trip and what the cost will be while asking for help funding it, (and mentioning that even $1 helps!), can help raise you to your goal quickly. I know at least for me I’d rather just simply give my kid’s school money rather than jump through the hoops of fundraising.
Look into virtual field trips/ Zooming with specialists: This became extremely popular in 2020 with the outbreak of COVID but has also been a practice for several years now. Virtual field trips can happen over Google, or you can find different specialists to schedule a Zoom call with for your class to chat with a zoologist or astronaut, or business owner, right from the comfort of your own classroom.
There are so many benefits of field trips for any aged student, but that’s a post for another day! Needless to say, it’s worth it to put in the extra work and watch these students learn in a new environment. Field trips can be some of the most beneficial moments of their student careers! But they don’t have to be extravagant to be amazing.
Cover photo by Kayla Wright