The week that was SWINE Week 2014

I love my school and the community that supports it and nothing shows the strength of that relationship more than SWINE Week.  SWINE Week is an annual fundraising week that truly shows all of the things that cannot be assessed when looking at public education.  We have brilliant student artists who decorate the school, we have STUCO kids who count endless numbers of coins, we have students who create powerful video, there is a Build Team for Piggy Vision, and there is a super sponsor herding it all, just to name a few things…

SWINE Week started in 1986 when a small group of Edmond High School students decided to raise money for a younger sibling.  The boys asked the principal if he would kiss a pig in front of the entire student body if they could do it – they did and he did, SWINE Week was born.  That very first year the students of Edmond High School raised $3,000 to help offset the costs of medical treatment for one individual and it has grown into one of the most robust fundraising weeks that I know of.  For SWINE Week 2000 (theme Mihami Vice) the students at Edmond Memorial donated over $100,000 for the first time – again for an individual student.  By 2007, I was on staff for this one, (theme New Pork City) the students raised over $200,000 for the first time, but now instead of benefitting a single person, they were donating to local charities, that year it was for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  2010 (theme Piggy Wonka) remains the best year ever bringing in $527,000 for the Jimmy Everest Children’s Cancer Center, talk about changing lives.  Last year (theme Star Boars) we raised $353,000 for Limbs For Life – a charity that helps people who need prosthetics, the money we donated cleared their back log (if memory serves).

There is no way to do justice to SWINE Week through posting on a blog, it is something that must be experienced live and in person.  From a teachers point of view, it is both frustrating (students involved are super busy and sometimes not in class) and amazing (the kids donated $1000 for me to get a pink mohawk):

And when they announce the total at the final assembly on Friday – even the most non-emotional people tear up!  Having said that here is what we do (again I don’t know all of it, so this is what I see…)

SWINE Week – starts when school starts.  STUCO will meet will charities and foundations who would like to be sponsored by us.  They present to STUCO, who will ultimately make the decision on who will be the benefactor.  Also over the past few years, there has been a second charity to receive some of our donations in what has become called a Common Thread.  All three high schools in my community have a fundraising week, each school will make a donation to the common thread.  This organization is in OUR community.  Towards the end of the first semester, students that want to be involved in SWINE Week form small groups (3-5 students each) and are SWINE Week Royalty.  These kids are the backbone of the entire thing – each group raises money, with all groups sharing a minimal goal.  Once the second semester starts the entire process begins.  Kids show up with Piggy Pastries (any kind of sweet that you can think of…) and sell them non-stop.  A teacher could gain some serious weight during this time!!  As we get closer to SWINE Week, there are different things that happen: dodge ball tournament, 3v3 basketball tournament, Swine Zone, Talent Show, we had a Mangeant this year (I wasn’t able to go, but apparently is was epic).   The STUCO kids come up with some different ideas for SWINE Week themes – then the entire student body votes.  This year is Monsters, Oink – so the school is decorated in this fashion and looks amazing!  And of course there is the annual SWINE Week t-shirt, always well worth the $15!!

The week of SWINE Week is set up with a different dress up day each day of the week.  The really cool thing about all of this is that if you don’t dress up, you stand out.  The students are so creative with their dress up days, I am continually impressed.  What is even more impressive is the number of teachers who participate!  It really makes a difference to the kids when they see their teachers taking an active part in the entire process.  Each day there is an assembly ($5 per assembly Monday -Thursday, everyone goes on Friday) – we don’t change our schedule Monday-Thursday, but we have an assembly during different periods, so that all classes are disrupted the same amount of time.  Those of you grumbling about lost instructional time may have a valid point, however, our school has been one of the top academic public high schools in our state over the past several years.  We get the academics taken care of!!  During the assembly there are different activities.  This was the set up for this year: Monday – Class vs. Class, Tuesday – Student vs. Teacher, Wednesday – Black Light, Thursday – Hogger Games, Friday – Final Assembly.  Each assembly has some general requirements: a speaker from our charitable organization will speak to the students, someone that is going to be impacted will speak to the students, there is fun games and competition, and of course the dares.  Kids and faculty come up with some of the best ideas, most of them involve some sort of public embarrassment and money is raised.  I myself have participated in this one, usually doing something really wacky with my hair, this year is a pink mohawk with henna (that is another story…) for $1000:

Each night of the week there is a school activity that helps, the biggest one is the Black Light Techno Dance.  We get local eateries to agree to donate proceeds on different nights, so there is always some place to go eat and make a donation.  Our local Chik-Fil-A is huge!  They had each class have one night to eat and donate, this year the Freshman (gasp) won!!

This year SWINE Week is going to benefit the City Rescue Mission with the common thread being U R Special. Both of these organizations are very worthy and the students of my school and my community are going to change lives forever with what they have done this week.  Below are some pictures and tweets of our amazing week:

The Opening Assembly

Chad Green From City Rescue Spoke:

Representatives from UR Special Spoke:

The Students Creating a “Monster” from a box of items:

The Students Raised My Dare $$$ by Day 2:

Grammy Day and Ke$ha Was In My 1st Period:

Kristina Getting Ready to Rap some Eminem (Swine Week Edit):

More From Chad Green:

Powerful Words from A Lady at the Mission:

My Henna Was Supposed to Say “Monsters Oink” Not “Jeff Lovett”

Tom Jones from City Rescue Mission:

Winners of Swinal Tap Perform at the Final Assembly:

Our Amazing Pottery Teacher and the Baby Boo she created for Auction:

More From City Rescue:

Auctioning Baby Boo:

From our Amazing STUCO Sponsor Elanna:

SWINE Week Total Announced at the Final Assembly:

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