Teacher in Jail Fundraiser

By the end of each school term, everybody is just keeping it together until it’s time for ‘tools down’. And when I say everybody I don’t just mean the students. I’m talking about students, parents AND teachers. Here’s a fundraising idea that will work well as an end of term fundraiser (and a chance to give everyone a bit of a break). It’s something that could also work well as a stall at your next fete and is low cost and easy to organise. How about throwing the teachers in ‘jail’ and holding a jail fundraiser? You can bet the students will get behind this one!

How it works

The way it works is to have each class pay a fee to put their teacher in jail for a nominated amount of time. The students get a break from the books and the teachers can have a break, a coffee or catch up on marking or other jobs. Work out with the teaching staff or your principal as to what amount of time they think is appropriate – may be a lesson before lunch or the end of the day.

Fees can be set depending on the size of the class or what you think is a reasonable amount for a class to contribute. For example, in a primary school, you might set the jail fee at $50. So, in a class of 25 students, everyone contributes $2 and there’s your $50. If your school has 2 classes of each grade from prep to year six, then that’s quick $700 right there. And I would hazard a guess that high school students would pay more than that to jail their teacher too!

Advertise about a week in advance with fee amounts and any rules that will apply, such as no leaving school grounds or where the students are allowed to go during while their teacher is in ‘jail’. For the younger students, arrange for teacher aides or other relief staff to be on hand to supervise while the teacher has their break.

On the day, have a responsible class rep collect the money and take it to the office to advise that their teacher will be ‘jailed’. For a bit of fun, students can present the teacher with a convict hat or ball and chain to wear during their jail time.

Jail and Bail Fete Stall

Creating a Jail and Bail fete stall will take a little more organisation but will be lots of fun. You’ll need to set up a ‘jail’. We’ve set up a Pinterest board with a few images to give you some ideas. Make sure it’s located in a high traffic and highly visible place.

Next thing you’ll need to do is round up some willing volunteers that are happy to have some jail time. Teachers, the principal, committee members and parents, or even well-known members of your local community like your local MP (they’ll love the publicity too!) would be great for your jail fundraiser and don’t forget to appoint a sheriff for the day.

Once you’ve got your volunteers, you can create ‘wanted’ posters or arrest warrants with photos of your volunteers on them. Sell these for a fee to have your sheriff throw the culprit in jail. They will have to stay there until someone pays a bail fee for them to be released. Have some ‘get out of jail free’ cards available for sale too that can be bought to avoid jail time.

If you wanted to take this idea to the next level, you could get all theatrical about it and set up a courtroom scene with a judge who sets the bail amount for each person arrested and it’s up to them to raise their bail money before they can be released.

As an add-on and in keeping with the theme, set up a ‘mug shot’ photo booth near your jail cell. Throw in a few props, like a ball and chain, a convict costume or an orange jumpsuit and charge a small fee per photo.

The Jail and Bail idea will definitely add some fun to your fete or event, but if you’re looking for an alternative to the jail fundraiser for an end of term fundraiser, we’ve got a few for you:

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