Sunshine Committee Ideas

Does your school have a Sunshine Committee? Or another way to help spread happiness to your staff throughout the year? I have always loved the Sunshine Committee at my school and have always appreciated and enjoyed the little ways they try to boost morale in our school. 

I did not exactly volunteer to be in charge of the committee this year, but I was somehow made co-chair. It's a big job and so I was a little scared at first, but then I realized how much fun this would be and I've enjoyed helping to lead this committee so far.

Some of you might be wondering what a Sunshine Committee really is so I thought I'd explain it a little bit.

We all know about "Teacher Burnout" and we all know how hard it can sometimes be to make it through the entire school year. I usually start out the year with a lot of passion and enthusiasm in August, then after Christmas break, usually January to March, I start feeling worn-out and over-worked. Know the feeling? Well, the Sunshine Committee is just a little way to help teachers stay happy and positive throughout the year. We plan socials, organize treat days, and give little appreciation gifts throughout the school year. Over the years, this committee has definitely helped me feel appreciated and loved throughout the year. 

Here's a list of ideas of fun things you could do. We don't use all of these ideas; I just wanted to provide you with a list of possible ideas for the entire school year. 

This printable is available in my Sunshine Committee Ideas pack for FREE! Download it from my TPT Store

Here's how it works at my school:

At the beginning of the year, teachers are asked to give a $35 "donation" to the committee. This donation gives us the budget that we need to do kind deeds throughout the year. 

We buy gifts for all bridal showers, baby showers, and when people experience the death of a close loved one. 

We do meals for the staff twice a year. We usually provide the main dish and paper products for the Christmas Party (the side dishes are usually potluck style) and we always do a full catered meal at the end of year banquet. We usually organize some sort of Thanksgiving meal too. I think last year we did potluck soups and our committee provided the paper products.

We usually try to find little times throughout the year to put treats in the faculty room. It could be doughnuts the day after parent teacher conferences or themed treats for a holiday. I think this year I want to do a soda party with a variety of flavored syrups just for fun on a Friday afternoon when everyone could use a little pick-me-up.

As a way to say thank you to everyone for paying their Sunshine dues, I made these little bags of  sunshine. We did Worthers (although any gold/yellow item would work), and included a coupon for an extra 30 min of prep. All teachers have to do is take the coupon to the office and schedule a time when an administrator can take the class for 30 minutes. That gives our principal and vice principal an opportunity to go into the classrooms and work directly with a group of students. They'll just take their favorite read aloud story with them and read, which means that the teachers won't have to provide sub plans. 

Want a copy of all my Sunshine Committee printables?! 
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This week, our committee is putting on a Pumpkin Party. (I got this idea from one of our Facebook followers who commented on my Facebook post a few weeks back.) Just to celebrate fall, we've asked everyone to bring (if they want) some kind of food item that has pumpkin as an ingredient. It could also be anything that looks like a pumpkin or really anything that is orange. I'm excited to see what everyone will come up with. I will purchase pumpkin plates and we'll decorate the teacher's lounge orange and black and leave the decorations up until after Halloween. 

In the past our school's Sunshine Committee has done some sort of Biggest Loser Competition for anyone who wants to participate. We usually ask people to donate $5 to a pot, then we commit to certain goals, and have daily points for exercising, drinking water, avoiding soda, etc. At the end of the competition the money goes to people who met their goal. I'm not sure how the competition will look this year, but we'll probably start something up in January to encourage teachers to be healthy for the new year. 

I think I'll end this post here and maybe continue with some more ideas another day. As you can see, having a Sunshine Committee could be a huge benefit to any school. Teaching is a wonderful and rewarding job, but sometimes it's the little things can help us have more fun in the workplace.

 I would LOVE to hear any other great ideas that you have! 
Please leave a comment and let me know if your school has a Sunshine Committee and what you do to help boost morale at your school. For those of you who don't already have something like this, would you consider starting one at your school? 


K's Classroom Kreations said...

I love the Pumpkin Party Idea. I am the head of our Sunshine Committee too and I love it! We have grade levels host each of our monthly after school staff meetings. They are in charge of providing snacks- which always makes meetings/PD more fun and sometimes include a fun theme. We also give handmade cards and birthday cake to the birthdays of that month. This year we are trying to organize monthly outings that teachers are able to attend (all optional) but seem to boost spirits like Movie Night, Painting Nights, and dinners out. Keep up the great work :)
K's Classroom Kreations

~Christina said...

I love the idea of the coupon for 30 min of prep for joining...I bet we would get more members with that! My favorite social committee event is Secret Santa!!! Thanks for the freebie!

Teaching Autism said...

This is such a wonderful idea! Well done you on being co-chair. It sounds a big responsibility but I'm sure it will be so rewarding - and you sound like you are taking it in your stride :)

Teaching Autism

Elementary Escapades said...

Wow! Can I come work at your school?

Kim said...

I am the head of our committee, it doesn't have a name, but I love the Sunshine Committee! Too cute!! Thanks for the fun ideas! I think we might try out the Pumpkin Party idea for our fall social!!

Fluttering Through First Grade said...

Love it!!! Who couldn't use a lil sunshine!? Well, maybe us here in California where it's STILL 90 degrees and it's October!!! #willfallevercome
~Christy & Tammy

Kris M. said...

We, too, have a Sunshine Committee & LOVE it! We do many of the things you mentioned, but I like the freebie idea for joining. We also make a pretty big deal about milestone birthdays (ya know, those zero the hero ones) with things like trivia, a roast, amazing race, or talent show to name a few. This December we're hosting ugly sweater (which coincides with an ugly trophy) contest & after school showing Christmas Vacation--too fun!

Jamison Hands said...
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Mrs. Barker's First Grade Blog said...

I like the idea of the school providing the gifts for the wedding/baby showers. If you don't mind me asking, how much do you normally give for a gift? Also since the committee provides the gift does the staff provide anything on top of the gift from the committee?

Tiffany G said...

We have done a nacho bar, baked potato bar, ice cream sundaes, continental breakfast, cupcake day, treats in their mailboxes, we do a happy hour once a month which is opened to all staff even if they aren't members. We also did the ugly sweater contest. We give $25 to members if they get married or have a baby, $50 when they retire, up to $35 in money or flowers if they loose an immediate relative or if they have major surgery or out sick 5 days or more. This is just a few of the things we did.

Derek and Alissa said...

If a staff member has not paid dues, do they get any sunshine benefits? I've been "volun-told" that I'm heading up our sunshine team this year. :)

Inflow Communications Inc said...

Nice. This is a way to spread sunshine around your school and make it a happier place to teach!

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Alison Huebner said...

When does this committee meet? Is it on paid time or on own time?

I know the question has been asked about payment and that they kind of force everyone to pay. But there are some that don' they still benefit from the committee?

Last many positions are on the committee, you said there a finance person or does that chair of the committee do that?

I'm starting a committee and anything information would be helpful. My email is if you are willing to send me any documents you may see helpful to me.

Thank you so much.

Ali Huebner
All God's Children Preschool and Childcare (Iowa)

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bhangad said...

Nice. This is a way to spread sunshine around your school and make it a happier place to teach!

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