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Project Graduation   A How-To Manual

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Generating Interest from the Community

In addition to the other students, school personnel, and parents, you will need the support and cooperation of many subgroups in the community,including local merchants, civic groups, law enforcement officials, and the media. If possible, give each subgroup a poster to display that will identify the organization as "A Supporter of Project Graduation."

Local Merchants-for Donations of Money, Services, and Prizes

The fundraising/finance committee, prize committee, and food committee should work together through the Project Graduation chairperson to make sure they don't contact the same merchants for donations. In the initial approach to merchants, give them a brief sketch of the party reasons, rules,and benefits. Put emphasis on the community service they would provide by contributing to the success of the event. Some Project Graduation organizers have sent letters to merchants prior to contacting them in person or over the telephone. The advantage of sending advance letters is that fundraisers will not have to repeat the information or take as much time at each place. The drawbacks, of course, are that processing letters takes time and involves the cost of paper, envelopes, and postage.

Civic Groups - for Donations of Food, Prizes, Money, or Labor

The leaders of these groups may be approached in a similar manner to the merchants. It is possible that an organization like the Masons, Elks, or Women's League, might choose Project Graduation as their club's special charity project, and give both financial and volunteer support. Local churches and synagogues might also be willing to help with financial assistance, volunteers, or by loaning equipment or special facilities.

Law Enforcement Officials - for endorsement and any help that might be needed in policing the area surrounding the site(s) of the party

Also, the public support of the police and other officials could go a long way in selling the idea to parents, school administrators, and other members of the community.

Media - for generating positive print and broadcast stories on Project Graduation

The publicity will help convince the public that the party will be fun, safe,and a worthwhile community project. More information on contacting the media may be found in the Publicity Committee section.

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