Rustic Pathways strives to inspire and prepare young leaders toward service and innovation. We want you to dream big, make an impact and change the world. This Service Club will help students and educators turn their ideas into reality.
The projects below include elements of Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS). International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) students include CAS throughout their curriculum. Each project also corresponds to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Service Club Benefits
- Do Good, Feel Good. Use your talents to make an impact in your local, national or international community.
- Earn Valuable Skills. Add business skills, leadership, creative thinking, and problem solving to your repertoire.
- Learn and Be Aware. Gain cultural awareness and knowledge about critical global issues.
- Make New Friends. Meet new people who have diverse interests and talents.
For Students – Start your own Service Club:
- Establish your own chapter of the Service Club. (Give your club an awesome, unique name!)
- Pursue projects that inspire you and may inspire others.
- Be mindful of your school’s official requirements.
- Next, recruit club members.
- Choose a project and work together to reach your goals! If you need ideas, see below or get in touch with us. We’re happy to help.
- Submit a service report to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Teachers – Start a Service Learning Project with Your Class:
Service learning links a service project to academic curriculum. Through service learning, students develop knowledge and achieve personal growth. They will recognize the power of a series of small actions towards a larger goal. They will learn that personal effort creates change.
- Exploration – Work with students to determine the focus of the service learning project. Have students explore the needs of your community or other communities in need around the world.
- Planning and Preparation – Consider the projects listed below, or have students propose one of their own. Address the who, what, when, where, and how to get the project going. Determine what material may be needed for the project and the steps required to complete the project.
- Service Work – Dependent on the project, students may be working in class or at home over time, have a full day of service planned, etc.
- Reflection – Encourage the students to consider the project, how they felt working on it, what went well and what could be improved.
- Ongoing Effort – Work with students to make community service action an ongoing effort, and not just a one-time experience.
Service Club Project Ideas
We’re getting you started. Have an idea you’re already working on? Email us at email@example.com with the subject line SERVICE CLUB to submit your idea.
Experiment with this Poverty Risk Calculator and research poverty in the US. What are policy actions your government could take to address rising poverty in the US?
Consider some of the solutions here, then research a Rustic Pathways country, meet with a Rustic Pathways team member to discuss your questions about poverty in that country, and raise money for one of the various projects on Rustic Pathways.org.
High School MBAs for Entrepreneurship
Businesses started during economic downturns often perform well (eg. Disney in 1929). With a team, partner with social entrepreneurs from the country you choose. Educate yourself about the specific problem they are trying to combat, provide support in creating a website and helping these budding business people reach a US market.
Learn valuable lessons about building a business through social media and empowering communities capitalism.
There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch
Participate in team-based school competitions on FreeRice.com. FreeRice is a free ad-supported website and mobile app. Players can donate rice by playing a multiple-choice quiz game. For every question the user answers correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Programme.
Feed Your Local Community
Organize a team-based school competition (who can collect the most) or large group effort. Pick a local group that needs food such as the food bank, homeless shelter, faith-based organizations, senior citizen centers, or schools. Organize collections and drop offs. Use resources for planning, such as this AARP how-to organize a food drive guide.
Science, Sociology and Safety
Conduct primary research to determine countries which have the highest rates of vehicular accidents in the world. Research the physics of car accidents and understand the force mechanics and societal factors that may lead to high accident rates in these countries versus others. Then, develop advocacy programs to promote vehicular safety in your chosen country as well as in your local city and state.
Washy-Washy = Happy-Happy
According to the National Institutes of Health, Handwashing with soap is considered one of the most cost-effective means of preventing faecal–oral transmitted diseases and other infections, especially in developing countries. Partner with a school in the developing country of your choosing. Create educational materials to promote handwashing rates in elementary schools in rural areas, and have a drive or fundraiser to collect soap or raise money to buy soap for the school. Distribute these materials to the school you have partnered with.
Conduct interviews with community members in their native Spanish, Chinese or French language. Record the interview and transcribe in English and their native language. Compile a book to be given to those family members.
Elderly may know the history of their communities better than anyone. Read a biography of a contemporaneous historical figure and interview a senior citizen. Create original artwork in English and a narrative about the seniors in the history of the world and their community. Then, mail artwork and biography to the local community. You may also record the biography for English language/familial education.
Geek Squad for Teachers
Adopt a US school. Help teachers who now have to virtualize lesson plans to create interactive media experiences that dazzle their classroom. Then, adopt a global school and repeat.
Read it, Dream it, Build it
Research a women’s rights issue and answer a focus question: How might this dream be made universal in _____ country? (You research and choose the country!) Support the claim with evidence. Then create an advocacy video for the cause in that country. Present the video online and to women’s activists in ____ country.
Empowering Girls Through Education
According to UNESCO, women make up two thirds of the 750 million uneducated people in the world. With a team, partner with girls at a school you’d like to work with in ______ country. Create and provide training and material to increase the literacy skills of girls and young women. You can also choose to focus on areas such as entrepreneurship, life skills, and basic ICT skills.
Squats for Toilets
According to the World Health Organization, 2.0 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines. Conduct primary research to determine countries which have the highest rates of poor sanitation. Choose a charity building toilets in the area you want to support. Get sponsors and fundraise to build toilets by challenging teams to do as many squats as possible in a certain time.
Fundraise for Clean Water
Organize a fundraiser to increase awareness about water problems/solutions in the developing world. Give presentations to raise awareness about the importance of water for human needs, organize school (or home) pledges to conserve water and start fundraising efforts with your class to donate to Water.org. (Ideas: walk-a-thons for water, Sponsored Essay Writing Contest or Art Contest about water, Recycling bottles and cans)
Power it Up
Access to clean, renewable energy in schools, health clinics, homes, and on farms in rural areas not connected to the grid gives educational opportunity, improves health services, brings light and AC power to households making new activities possible, and improves economic prosperity for families. Fundraise to bring solar power to communities who need it most.
Adopt a Local Landmark
Tourism is hurting globally. Create brochures about a local landmark you wish to preserve and promote. Brochures can include the history, top ten reasons for people to visit and a brief summary of the landmark. Invite others and even people from the local landmark to participate. Then, research why the economic benefit of travel safeguards historic sights and prevents poachers from poaching, and prepare an essay on sustainable tourism. Find an underserved and at risk landmark and use your creativity to bring highlight its merits, sustainably.
New Projects Coming Soon!
Income inequality is on the rise. Help educate young adults (locally or in the country of choosing) on personal finances. Write articles or give speeches advocating financial literacy on topics like calculating housing costs, or understanding personal loans.
Black Lives Matter
Support the fight for racial justice. First, spend time educating yourself and others on institutionalized and societal racism against the black community and the Black Lives Matter movement. Spread awareness and sign online petitions on sites like change.org. Social media as an effective tool during this time.
Create space for black representation and help black peoples’ voices be hard when they are not present. When you see there is no black representation in a syllabus for a literature class, offer up works by black authors and apply this to other situations and settings.
Masks Are For More Than Diseases
In some countries, wearing a mask is not only to prevent germs from infecting others. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.2 million people die every year from exposure to air pollution. Research which cities have the worst air quality. Raise money and advocate for cleaner air. You may wish to make masks to sell in the US to raise money and donate to the fight against air pollution, or to buy masks for people in need in countries with poor air quality.
Reduction and Recycling Audit
Partner with a local business interested in reducing their waste for a waste audit project. Students will examine trash, weigh recyclable materials and note potential waste reduction opportunities. Then present waste loss assessment to companies to help improve or implement recycling programs.
Battery Recycling Program
Learn about environmental problems associated with hazardous household waste. Create battery collection containers (make out of laundry or soda bottles) and distribute along with flyers to local businesses or at school. Collect the batteries from the bins weekly to take to the local recycling center.
Plant it For The People
Connect with your local government to get approval to plant trees in local parks and city streets. Work with a team to fundraise to buy the materials and trees.
Campaign For Our Climate
Yearly seasons have become unpredictable with intense winters and an increase in natural disasters. Research local factors and create materials on the problem and potential solutions. Campaign for climate change awareness to your local government.
Beach Education and Clean Up
Volunteers have played a crucial role in sustainable conservation of the oceans. Coordinate a beach clean up day to pick up trash and waste. Collect data on the litter and send information to Ocean Conservancy so it can be used for educational programs, developing targeted pollution prevention initiatives, and inform resource managers and litter policies.
Water Quality Monitoring
With a team, test the water quality of a lake or river. If it is clean, discuss and share with community ways to keep it clean. If it is poor water quality, create solutions to share with their community. (Here’s a guide to get ideas from.)
Fundraise and give directly to an animal conservation and rehabilitation center. You may wish to donate to the Rustic Pathways Foundation Australia Wildlife Relief Fund.
Support Animal Shelters
Support your local animal shelter. Shelters and rescues are always in need of simple items such as towels, toys for the pets, leashes, etc. Contact your local rescue and shelters to find out what they need and organize a drive to get the materials.
Help make a shelter or rescue better known by liking their social media pages, sharing their content and inviting your friends to do the same. Word of mouth is a strong way to grow awareness.
New Projects Coming Soon!
What is the purpose of creating or joining a Service Club?
We provide students the opportunity to have a positive impact on your local community and communities around the world. Volunteer work can be a life-changing experience and allows you to expand your horizons and build meaningful relationships. You will strengthen your resume and skills.
What qualifies as community service?
- Community service hours are hours spent doing work which directly benefits people, communities or institutions in need or the protection of animals or the environment.
- You may volunteer for a single organization or at a variety of organizations.
- We encourage you to complete their hours in areas related to personal interests.
- Paid experiences do not qualify.
- Working without pay at your job or for a family business does not qualify.
- You cannot earn hours for donating personal items or money, only your time.
Can I work on a project not listed above?
YES, absolutely. We encourage you to pursue projects that address issues you are passionate about in your local or global community. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line SERVICE CLUB to submit your proposal.
What are the guidelines for creating our own project ideas?
The best ideas have at least three of the four qualities:
- Direct person facing (e.g. tutoring kids directly)
- Indirect fund raising (e.g. canned food drive or money)
- Advocacy component to inspire others
- Academic portion tied to some school subject
How do I get community service hours for my club?
Submit a service report to us at email@example.com One teammate should email all club members’ logs in a ZIP file so we can address the project as a whole.