Donut Days At School
Version 1.0 (May 2020)
Story by Isabella Jansen and Pauline Westendorp
Posted by the DEAL Team
At the Geert Groote School 2 in Amsterdam South we've been having a weekly 'Donut Day' every Friday for students to work on projects, with the community, aiming to tackle two Doughnut challenges in our city 1) the shortage of teachers and 2) the energy transition.
Linking two local real-world challenges that correspond with two dimensions of the Doughnut creates a great foundation for a community-based school project. Students work in groups and combine the talents of everyone in the group and professionals from the community.
You cannot imagine how happy the children were to get out of the class and be able to interact with professionals about a subject they truly care about!
So we've created this 7-step guide to help you create your own Donut Days. And you can see the story of how we did it in A Donut Day Breakfast.
7 steps to make your own Donut Day At School with children
Step 1: Choose a time each week - for example a morning or an afternoon - and a group of students to work with
Step 2: Select two parents who work in the community: one who can manage a class of children, and the other who is able to inspire the class about a subject and has a drive to achieve a sustainable goal.
Step 3: Introduce the subject you choose at a level that the class can identify with. You can do this by simply discussing the subject without explaining it, and let them lead and shape the conversation. That will bring you straight to the level of your group.
Step 4: Investigate your subject by going out into the ecosystem of the wider community, which means going out and exploring the world!
Step 5: Give your project substance by creating a platform for presenting it: a newspaper, website, meeting, Donut Festival, musical, etc. Now ideas can pop up and children will start to flow. There are no limits in what they invent as you can include each initiative in your platform, whether it suits or not. Always stay open and connected to your group of students. Leading the project simply means guiding along the way and having an overview.
Step 6: Inspire, motivate and help children to the next level: by asking questions, trusting their knowledge, and inviting the help of professionals or other grown-ups around them.
Step 7: Come to an end with a boom! Share your successes, as well as your failures, with the community. And inspire others to do their own Donut Days!