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Project Graduation

A How-To Manual

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When should the first planning meeting be, and who should be invited?

Many communities begin planning and fundraising for their seniors' Project Graduation when those students are freshmen. If you must wait until they're seniors, try to hold the first planning meeting as early in the school year as possible. November or December is not too soon, although senior classes with smaller enrollments may start planning a little later.

The small group of student planners who originate the idea for Project Graduation should decide among themselves who should be invited to the first planning meeting. Some veteran planners have said that it is best to include at least one or two members from key groups - students, parents,teachers, and even business persons.

What decisions need to be made at the first informal planning meeting?

A list of discussion items should be made before the meeting so that time may be spent constructively. Some of the areas you may choose to address could be the types of committees that will be needed; whether the committees will be made up of students only, or of a combination of students, parents, and teachers; approximately how much money will need to be raised through donations, fundraisers, and ticket sales; and how enthusiasm may be spread to other students, parents, school employees,and to the community-at-large.

Which group will take the lead in planning the party?

Is Project Graduation for seniors by seniors? For seniors by parents, with help from school personnel? For seniors by school personnel, with help from parents and the business community?

For the purposes of this booklet, it will be assumed that your Project Graduation is being organized by seniors, with assistance from parents,school personnel, local business persons, and members of the media. But it should be noted that there have also been some very successful Project Graduations where parents or school administrators took the lead.

Who is the chairperson (or chairpersons) whose job will be to oversee the planning process?

It is very important to have one, or even two, students who will take responsibility for coordinating the work of the various committees and overseeing the entire project. It is a big job, and it's not for a shy or overly sensitive student. Past Project Graduation chairpersons have reported thatthe job is as rewarding as it is big, and knowing that they may have played arole in saving the lives of their friends is more than enough payment for theheadaches that come with being "the boss."

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