CFES: Leadership Through Service (Part 2)

In preparation for planning and managing their Leadership Through Service projects this term, Bridge21 was delighted to welcome back students from  the 11 CFES schools for a second workshop.

Over the past few months, the students had spent some time considering what school or community projects they would like to explore, these included school fitness initiatives, a welcome day for new first years, outreach programmes to local hospices and care homes and awareness campaigns for bullying or antisocial behaviour.

As the students from each school had come with an idea or what project (or projects) they would be undertaking, the workshops were designed to help them do some research and gain some experience within the area of the project they had chosen. The students broke into small teams and each team was responsible for a set area of the project e.g. marketing or fundraising. The teams then got an opportunity to “market place” their activities or areas of responsibility to teams from another school. The why, what and how of the activities were explored. Teams would ask why another group chose a particular activity; because it’s fun, because it doesn’t cost too much, because everybody can get involved etc… then ask what exactly they were planning to do; sports day, bake sale, concert etc… Once these questions were asked then the real needling began! Teams would have to answer a bunch of questions on how they were going to make the activity happen.

As the students learned from the October workshops, there are many parts to a project to consider, some you can expect and plan for ahead of time such as budgets and equipment, but also unexpected challenges that can crop up. For this reason it is usually a good idea to troubleshoot your project plans with others as they may see some potential problems or even opportunities that you didn’t, which is what we did in the “market place”.

Market Place

Market Place

Once this was done, each small team was ready to play another “Brain Game”. This was going to be very similar to the one in October, in that they would email whoever they needed to contact via the “Brain”. In addition, representatives from the small teams would meet as a school committee and keep each other informed of their progress each “month”. Each small group also took a turn in sending a report for each month to their School Board of Management.  Breaking into subcommittees in this way meant that work could be divided and keeping track of the project as a whole was easier. This is an approach that the students could adopt for running their projects back at school. After the “market place” each small team had a chance to reflect on what the other teams had said and make a plan for their projects. Each school group got together and made sure each team from the group knew what the plan was for their collective project. The small teams could then start breaking the work to be done into jobs and tasks.

Breaking up the tasks

After three months (or 1.5 hours real-time) the Brain game finished and the students were asked to come together to prepare a school group presentation on what they felt they had achieved during the time and what remained to be organized for their project to go ahead.  This was particularly important as this created action points for the students to take from the workshops.

What’s done and what’s left to do…

 We think that the students did a fantastic job at the workshop and are now ready to show us what they can do in the real world. Here’s what some of them said…

Because of the Brain Game we know how we will need to process contacting people + it prepares us for the real project.”

“We worked faster in the second workshop and we knew what to do if something went wrong.”

“I’m looking forward to starting the project.”

“awesome 🙂

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