Above and Beyond

Formerly known as the Idea Share Shop, our new and improved Above and Beyond Blog contains the best ideas for student leaders to try out in their schools and communities to accomplish their goals. Whether it be school culture and climate, fundraising, or recognition and appreciation, you’ll find plenty of great ideas here.

Search by one of the category buttons below or just scroll through our hundreds of ideas.

Eye Spy

Eye Spy

Google now means that trivia contests are hard to run, so run contests that Google can't give answers to. Create letterbox shots of teachers' eyes and run it as a homeroom contest. Even staff who never play these "silly games" will want to play.        

read more
Rake and Run

Rake and Run

Organize the ALBA — the Anti-Leaf-Blower-Association. Arm your members with rakes and go through the community in teams to randomly rake people’s yards to the curb or neatly in piles. You can do some advance planning and find out where senior citizens live who might...

read more
Secret Service Project

Secret Service Project

​This is a targeted Random Acts of Kindness activity that allows your students to go on a “top secret mission”. Prepare manila envelopes that you label TOP SECRET and distribute these missions to your agents. This is a MISSION POSSIBLE, but the agent must perform acts...

read more

The Victory Lap

The “Victory Lap” is a new way for our school to recognize the achievements of fellow students at regional competitions and other events that allow our students to compare their skills and achievements against other schools. Students who win or advance beyond a...

read more
Play Dough Creations

Play Dough Creations

This is a great homeroom contest that allows everyone to show their artistic side. Each homeroom is given the recipe for play dough (see below). The class can make as much or as little of the stuff as they require. A theme is declared (Hallowe’en works well) and...

read more
Fam Jam Night

Fam Jam Night

The main building block of school culture is relationships.  And one of those relationships that is important is the relationship between the students involved in Leadership and Student Council and the staff of the school they serve.  One way many schools build that...

read more
Colour Your World

Colour Your World

Hunting Hills High in Red Deer understood that everyone loves to colour! It's amazing when you get a bunch of kids and staff around a table colouring what conversations can happen. Order the roll of colouring paper online from Ikea here. It's 10 metres of Crayola...

read more
Valentines for Seniors

Valentines for Seniors

The best Valentine to receive is the one you were not expecting. Consider having your student leaders make and deliver Valentines to seniors in a nursing home. The seniors are usually visited by family during Christmas, but February can be a grey, blue time for...

read more
Chuck a Duck

Chuck a Duck

The Chuck-a-Duck tournament is run like a chuck-a-puck contest at a hockey game.  At a given time, students toss their rubber duckie in attempt to come closest to the bulls-eye in the center of the gym. We charged $2 per duck toss.  The ducks were numbered, and...

read more

Student Council Presidents’ Day

President’s Day is a morning or afternoon that is held each semester among the 16 Waterloo Region secondary schools. It is an opportunity for all the school presidents to meet, network and share ideas. The administration (and/or student trustees) from the School Board...

read more
Shakespeare’s Birthday

Shakespeare’s Birthday

Yes, the Bard of Avon has a birthday and Archbishop Jordan High School in Sherwood Park, Alberta, knows that it takes (more than) the cake to do it right. They celebrate on April 23rd and bring in cake, sword fights and dress the part. There is a sonnet contest and...

read more
Birthday in a Bag

Birthday in a Bag

Create a “birthday bag” for a child who doesn’t have the chance to celebrate. Each birthday bag can be outfitted with a cake, candles, frosting, decorations, and a birthday card with a handwritten message. These can be donated to a local food bank for young clients...

read more
Rose of Recognition

Rose of Recognition

Our staff receive this note 3 weeks prior to Valentine's Day: On Wednesday, February 14, the Student Council will be distributing roses to students who have had them purchased by their friends and admirers here at EDSS.  The students will receive a note in home form...

read more
Frame of Fame

Frame of Fame

Ross Thomson at Craig Kielburger Secondary School initiated this great way to recognize the good people in his school. The Acknowledgement Project asks people to submit nominations for the Frame of Fame. The acknowledgements are then posted on CKSS's twitter feed....

read more
Send a Smile

Send a Smile

One way to brighten up the pre-exam blues is to copy the happy emojis and have them sent to friends in the school. A little smile brightens everyone's day. Sir John A. Macdonald SecondaryWaterloo

read more
Coffee IQ

Coffee IQ

Giving a Tims or Starbucks card as a Thank You to secretaries or school staff is a good idea. It is also a good idea to purchase coffees and fixings for the Main Office. However, knowing exactly what each person takes in their coffee and bringing it to them is better...

read more
Matharama

Matharama

Ten participants hold a piece of paper with the bold number printed on both sides. Each team holds every number from zero through nine. In the center of the teams is a bell or horn. The audience is asked to not shout out the answer. The game is played like this: A...

read more
Grad Walk

Grad Walk

The picture says it all. What better way to have your elementary students think about the road ahead by having your graduating students walk the halls of their elementary school in their grad gowns. Irvine School in Alberta is a K-12 school. They have their seniors...

read more
Positive Note to Parents

Positive Note to Parents

Ask staff to submit names of students who have improved their work habits, attitude or attendance. Send a hand-written note home to the parents letting them know that their son or daughter is doing well in school. This note has more impact coming from a student group...

read more
Door Holder Project

Door Holder Project

​By its very nature, Random Acts of Kindness Day is a non-random event. Bob Kline, advisor from Huron Heights in Kitchener, believes that moments of true kindness can be planned and not random. He believes that when a person does something kind – both the receiver and...

read more
Thank the People at Home

Thank the People at Home

Staff members who contribute a lot to activities and coaching at your school must also spend a lot of time away from home. Send a short note to the staff member’s spouse or significant other recognizing the effort, but also thanking the people at home for ​making...

read more
Smartie Pants

Smartie Pants

Testing time is just on the horizon, so just as the stress starts to build put a box of Smarties in every staff member's mail slot. Attach a note that says, "Thank you for making us a bunch of Smarties!"  You can risk the ire of the English department, by attaching...

read more
Quarantine Trivia

Quarantine Trivia

Raise money for a good cause in your community with this easy online option! Host an online trivia match using your favourite video conferencing software (Zoom, Skype, Google Meets, etc.) and sell admission! Once the participant purchases a ticket, track their name...

read more
BYOM

BYOM

BYOM is the acronym for Bring Your Own Mug. This can be run in the morning before school during the cold time of the year. Hot chocolate, coffee and cider is provided free for students who bring their own mugs. The social aspect of standing around in the cafeteria or...

read more
Petting Zoo

Petting Zoo

Exams are stressful for everyone, so anything that you can do to lighten the moo(d) is a good thing. The Leadership class at Centennial High school in Calgary ran a fun activity as a de-stresser before their first semester exams.  They brought in a children’s petting...

read more
November 11 – Canada Week Celebrations

November 11 – Canada Week Celebrations

Canada Week Activities Held the week of Nov 11 Only 4 days are listed as one of the days of the week will be the Nov 11 observance. All events are run to remind people of the freedom we have and the great country that we all live...

read more

The Biffie Awards

It seems we consistently take time to recognize those students in our school who experience success both academically and athletically. When you look at an entire school population, these two groups tend to represent a small percentage of our entire student body. In...

read more
Remembrance Day in May

Remembrance Day in May

Our Leadership class prepared a supper and hosted 8 veterans from the Olds Legion. We wanted to let them know that we appreciate them all year, not just in November. Also, when they come to our service for Remembrance Day we see them march in and out and we don't get...

read more
Stars of the School

Stars of the School

For a Valentine's project, our SAC cut out a red heart for each student and staff member in the school. Each person's name was printed on the heart and then the hearts were stuck up in the main hall of the school. If you found your heart, you brought it to the...

read more
BYOB

BYOB

A neat end-of-year event is the BYOB. Student Council provides tubs of vanilla ice cream, toppings, and the bowls. All the students and staff have to do is provide the banana. Put them all together in the proper order and you have a sidesplitting event! This can be of...

read more
Eye-Catching Ads on the Walk to School

Eye-Catching Ads on the Walk to School

​Think sidewalk chalk. Think entrances, walkways, tennis courts, parking lots, driveways and bricks. Get creative and design a welcome back sign, a dance ad, and a spirit logo. We're the Panthers and if the weather cooperates, we'll have paw prints leading up the...

read more
Mural Solution

Mural Solution

Many schools will not let you paint murals on the walls because the wall is not suitable for paint, or the administration is afraid of damage or graffiti. One solution is to paint the mural on a sheet of masonite and then affix it to the wall with screws. You can buy...

read more

Great Gross Gunk

Some activities need the gross gucky stuff, but the problem is what to do with that kiddie pool full of Jell-O and oatmeal after you've had your fun. A good alternative is peat moss. Just add water and you have instant mud! It's cheap and enviro friendly. The stuff...

read more
Kiss a Pig

Kiss a Pig

If you can, find a teacher that is willing to kiss a pig for donations. Or you can have 4 teachers volunteer and the teacher with the most money gets the opportunity. Tell the students that if you raise a certain amount of money the teacher will kiss a live pig at the...

read more
Prom Fashion Show

Prom Fashion Show

Have a fashion show about 3 weeks prior to Prom to build up the hype before tickets go on sale. Contact your local formal and dress shops to see if they will donate the necessary clothing for the fashion show. Allow all Juniors or Seniors interested in modelling to...

read more
Sock Snowball Fight

Sock Snowball Fight

This spirit activity had been very popular. It's a just like a real snowball fight. It's in the gym and instead of snow you use socks that are curled up into a ball. There are tables turned on their sides and big boxes on the gym floor as protectors and to hid from...

read more
Sr. Dinner for Christmas

Sr. Dinner for Christmas

Each year we host a Senior Citizen Dinner for Christmas. We invite the 6 local Senior's homes and provide a complete turkey dinner. Each senior is matched with student and there is a meal that the students must serve the senior. The choir sings and teachers bring...

read more
Christmas Cutouts

Christmas Cutouts

We make festive cutouts and put the name of every student and staff member on a cutout. The cutouts are made using a wood block and cookie cutter shape run through a hand press at our Board Office. (a lot of elementary schools use this for their bulletin boards) The...

read more
Polar Bear Swim

Polar Bear Swim

  During Spirit week at our school we had a lunchtime activity entitled "Polar Bear Tough Man" we had brave students get in a kiddie's pool (or if you have a large enough body of water around) full of ice water and the person that stayed in the longest won. It...

read more
Human Bowling

Human Bowling

For our recent Spirit Week events, one of the lunchtime activities we hosted was called Human Bowling. You have two participants per class/homeroom. One of them acts as the bowling ball, the other as the bowler. The bowling ball person is strapped face down with...

read more
Christmas Tree Lights Charity

Christmas Tree Lights Charity

  Have students sell light bulbs ($1.00 each) and hang the light bulbs in the front of your school or in a prominent place (like a cafeteria) in the form of a Christmas tree and donate the money to a local charity. Our Grade 7 Team at Florenceville Middle School...

read more
Have a Cow!  Holy Cow!  Udderly Outrageous Fundraising!

Have a Cow! Holy Cow! Udderly Outrageous Fundraising!

World Vision Canada has a gift catalogue that allows you to purchase farm animals for families in underdeveloped countries. We found their catalogue to be a great way to raise money for this worthy cause. Students don't want to just give cash, they want to know what...

read more
Skateboard Olympics

Skateboard Olympics

The students on my leadership team hosted skateboard Olympics during lunch hour last year in the cafeteria. They were a hit! We first had a couple students who were good at tricks demonstrate their stuff. Then we had the silly Olympics for the rest of us. There was...

read more
Cafeteria Colour

Cafeteria Colour

Our cafeteria did not have a lot of colour and the walls were not good for painting murals on. We decided to use the narrow space between the windows instead of large wall parts. Our wood shop made the box frames and students cut 4 x 8 Masonite sheets in half to make...

read more
PA-per Announcements

PA-per Announcements

"Nobody listens to the PA announcements!" is a comment heard in a lot of schools. This may be that the announcements are not interesting or teachers don't take the time to make the class listen. Take the time to have your announcements posted for those who missed...

read more
Car Smash for Charity

Car Smash for Charity

Sell tickets in advance for a car smash for charity. You can also sell tickets on the day, but with promotion, you will sell more tickets when you sell them in advance on this event. We sold ours for three swings for $2 and auctioned off the chance to be one of the...

read more
Kraft Dinner Dominoes

Kraft Dinner Dominoes

Collecting cans of food for the Food Bank can become a weak activity as people get tired of collecting the same old thing. Instead, collect boxes of Kraft Dinner and set them up like dominoes on the gym floor. Have a member of the class that brings in the most Kraft...

read more
Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee

Run an old-fashioned spelling bee as a home room competition at lunchtime. Promote it with signs filled with spelling mistakes. Host it by grade level for each day with Friday as the finals for school champ. The words are made known to the audience by placing them on...

read more
Which Witch is Which?

Which Witch is Which?

This is a home room contest for Hallowe'en activities. Get the basic elements of a witch's costume: hat, hair, nose and cape. Have random teachers dress up on the costume and take their mug shot with a digital camera.  Put all of the pictures on one page to hand out...

read more

Semi-Formal Sell Off

A dance is fun because people attend, not because of the DJ or the dress or the food. KCI attempts generate some buzz for our semi-formal by selling tickets in this manner: $1 for the first ticket $2 for the second $3 for the third and so on to $15 Then they stay at...

read more
Change the Time for Class

Change the Time for Class

A simple fundraiser is to delay class until the teacher is finished counting the change on his or her desk brought in for a fundraiser. Students put coins on the teacher's desk (or at a central location) and class cannot begin until all the money is counted and...

read more

Army Day

Army Day It's March 4th. (Get it sarge?) Dress in camouflage pants or march your way to class. Have "Guess that K-ration in the Caf" competition. Celebrate the contributions of the Armed Forces. Jenna Albrecht EDSS

read more
Breakfast with the Principal

Breakfast with the Principal

Our Student Council endeavors to promote respect and raise school spirit. To accomplish this goal, The EDSS Student Council has developed a new way of recognizing EDSS students who improve their school community. With the gracious support of Administration, Student...

read more

Teacher Recognition Ideas

The dollar stores are indispensable allies in the hunt for teacher appreciation ideas. We buy our staff two gifts a year that we try to keep in the $5 or under range. Coffee mugs, plastic apples, portfolios, pens have been our recent purchases and we do one at either...

read more

Dusk to Dawn Activity-a-thon

The idea of using a “thon” to raise funds is anything but new. What may be unique is the number of activities included in this “thon” and that the funds raised directly help the student who participates. Many “thons” focus on one activity for participation. The...

read more
Push-Ups for Food

Push-Ups for Food

Reinventing or revisiting ideas often make an idea seem new when, in fact, variations of the idea are everywhere. The key to fundraising or charity drives is to do something novel, to tie it into something your students feel pride and to have some hook that the school...

read more
The Golden Bagel

The Golden Bagel

Over the years, our school has held various end-of-year Student Activity awards assemblies; although many of these events have been "very nice", they were not necessarily entirely successful at capturing the essence of the spirit of our school. As well, students who...

read more
Golden Moments

Golden Moments

Selwyn House School is in Montreal and has a uniform. It is difficult to recognize students and staff with a spirit shirt, so we use "Golden Moments". These are a pair of very nice socks that can be worn with the uniform. Golden Moments are done once a month and...

read more
Just Dye-ing for It!

Just Dye-ing for It!

We got two male and two female teachers to agree to let us dye their hair for the cause. We had each teacher pick four colours, and have placed boxes in front of their pictures in those colours. Students vote with their change as to what colour the hair should be. The...

read more