Hello, my name is Katie, and I am a first grade teacher in Alabama. Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity of travelling to Ghana as a fellow with LRTT. I am even more excited that I will be returning this summer as a Team Leader!

From personal experience, I can understand how the price of a trip to a third world country can be overwhelming. Because of this, I wanted to write a short blog sharing my fundraising successes and other tips that may be helpful to other LRTT Fellows.

Websites and Apps

Go Fund Me: This is a great and easy way to get your story out. Sharing this on Facebook and emailing out the link will give others an opportunity to see what you are pursuing and how they can help! Be specific about your expenses and be sure to share exactly what LRTT does. Add pictures, videos, etc. You can read my GoFundMe page here as an example.

CashApp: CashApp is an App where people can transfer money straight into your account. Some people may be resistant to donate to your GoFundMe because it takes out a small percentage. CashApp allows you to receive 100% of whatever is donated!

Concession Sales

Event Concessions: I am the coach of the Dance team at my school. At the end of each year, we have a Fine Arts Night with dance and music performances and students display their artwork. I purchased pizzas, snacks, candy, and drinks and sold concessions at the event. You can do this for any school event (examples: STEAM night, PTO, Field Day) I personally made $1000 in one night! I also set up a donation bucket next to the concession stand table with a trifold telling about my trip. Be sure to send out a flyer so parents know that all proceeds will be going to your trip to better global education, as well as a list of items being sold and their prices. I have included a photo below of the flyer that I sent home a week beforehand with students.

Fun Friday Concessions: We have fun Friday each week at our school. I would use the extra concessions I did not sell from my events, to sell to the kids at school on Friday. I would have a cart set up with everything on it. The kids could come by after lunch to purchase snacks and drinks. I sent a flyer home for this as well. This included a list of the snacks, prices, and dates they would be sold!

Teacher Incentives

Jean passes: With permission from my principal, I sold jean passes to teachers at my school. Everyone loves a jean pass. We are permitted to wear jeans two days a week at our school while the rest of the week is more business casual. A jean pass allows you to wear jeans for a day. I sold them for $1.00 with a limit of 15 per teacher. Many teachers donated extra to this as well.

Duty Free lunch passes: With the help of a few parents and PTO, I was able to sell duty free lunch passes for $3.00. At my school, we usually sit with our kids for lunch. A duty-free lunch pass allows you to go to your classroom for a peaceful lunch, while someone else covers and watches your class. The end of April-May is a great time for these incentives. We are all in survival mode at that point!

Bake sale: Bake cookies, brownies, cupcakes, etc., and sell these at school to your teacher friends! Teachers are a sucker for sweet treats. Send out an email that sweet treats are for sale in your room and for how much. I had mine individually bagged and ready to go. When teachers know what you are selling them for, they will be more willing to buy some!

All of your efforts are so worth it!

When it comes to fundraising, be creative and the opportunities are endless! Be sure to share what it is you are fundraising for. The generosity of others will amaze you. I personally can attest to this. You are seeking an opportunity to change the world, better education for children and teachers globally. This experience will change your life. I always tell people that I felt like my heart may explode when I was in Africa! This experience allowed me to collaborate with teachers from all over the world, build relationships that will last a lifetime, challenge myself as an educator and a person, all while experiencing a new culture and gaining so much perspective on life in general.

Take a chance. Don’t let the money keep you from the opportunity of a lifetime! I am so glad I didn’t. Here is a glimpse into my time in Africa, this could be you this summer…

My teaching partner and I observing a science lesson after giving feedback. This teacher was doing a lesson on different types of soil. We gave tips on getting students engaged, and how to check for understanding of learning. Tilli Primary School, Ghana

Our last day of PD. We all had custom outfits made to surprise our Ghanaian teachers! They were so thankful for all of the strategies and teaching techniques we were able to provide through LRTT. Even though we were there to teach them, they were also the ones teaching us! We both still have relationships with some of these teachers.

This is the amazing group of educators that were on my July Ghana LRTT team fellowship, as well as our amazing team leaders who took care of us all the whole time. We all still stay in contact with each other. It was amazing to learn from and work with educators from all over the world. We had teachers from Alabama, New York, London, Virginia, Ireland, Texas, and the list goes on! We became a family of global volunteers. The best collaboration I have ever been exposed too! An LRTT fellowship also gives you the opportunity to share an experience with like-minded individuals, who share your passion for education, learning, and children!

The headmistress at Lamboya Primary school braiding my hair!

Written by Katie Lipham

2019 Ghana Fellow

To apply to join an LRTT Fellowship in Ghana head to: https://lrtt.org/fellowships/north-ghana