My final workshop was a kit preparation workshop. For some of my volunteers, everything came together in a full box and kits. This workshop is the most satisfying yet difficult to prepare for and conduct.

Here is a breakdown of how I supplied my schools. I wanted my kits to be generic and my materials to be recycled or used for other kits. Curating my kits this way made sense to me since everyone is different. So I chose to create kits with just poster board (9×12 for ES, MS, and 11×14 or 9×12 for HS) and some colored paper, and a glue stick. Each school was then supplied with a material box with kit items. When the Kids make collages, they can use box material. The box also comes with directions and guided and unguided activities. depending on the age groups.

For this workshop, I spent a lot of time preparing the materials from the previous workshops.

I recommend the following:

  • Take inventory of your materials. Know exactly what you have, and make sure it is broken up correctly. I placed mine in a large plastic bin to transport it in. I had another container full of supplies we used for the kits.

  • Make a list of all the items you want to place in a material box for each grade level. If you supply a charity, know the age groups you work with. For my charity donation, I supplied two material boxes because the ages ranged from elementary school – middle school. For my schools, they received one material box with items curated for their activities.

  • Type out your list per school group and be very specific. I recommend that your supplies, as mine were in my previous workshop, are broken into bags or containers and labeled. So, for example, you want writeable leaves placed in each elementary school’s material box. Ensure your writeable leaves are placed in bags or containers and marked as “writable leaves”. If you have similar materials in middle school boxes but of a different quantity or size, label the bag “MS” in a corner and explain to your group why they need this acronym.

  • Label your material boxes with ES, MS, or HS if you are doing a batch for schools. Place the kits in bags (mine are reusable cloth bags you can use as shopping bags) on top of your material box.

  • Check your boxes when the workshop is over. Use your list to double-check for missing items, duplicates, or missing items inside the material boxes.

  • Set up the workshop ahead of time with workstations. Mine were broken up by school type (ES, MS, or HS). There was a main supply box in the center. Each station had a list of items to place in the material boxes. The items only for that school type were placed on the table. The kits table had a sample as an example.

In my workshop, volunteers were broken into teams for each grade. We also had someone watching over the kit supplies and making sure volunteers understood how to package them. I had someone who understood how I wanted the material boxes packed, supervising ES and MS packaging while she worked on MS boxes. We had a group on magazine cutting because it’s ongoing. Once the other volunteers were finished, they cut magazines.

After I brought the kits home, I checked them again. I recommend doing this at your workshop or with other volunteers. In order to get them out as quickly as possible, I brought them home and checked them there.

Workshop set up with stations
Volunteers in action
Items ready for distribution

This workshop can be a lot of fun if you have provided clear directions and communicated things to your volunteers. It’s really satisfying to see the kits come together.