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identify

Identify possible community projects activities

General Ideas:

  • Donate or raise money for your local Red Cross
  • Organize a community blood drive
  • Send cards to soldiers serving overseas
  • For your next birthday, ask for charitable donations instead of gifts
  • Hold a bake sale for your favorite charity
  • Read books or letters to a person who is visually impaired
  • Organize a wheelchair basketball team
  • Participate in a charity race
  • Organize an event or parade for Memorial Day
  • Volunteer to help at a charity auction
  • Participate in National Youth Service Day in April
  • Contact a tree farm about donating Christmas trees to nursing homes, hospitals, or to families who can’t afford to buy their own
  • Collect unused makeup and perfume to donate to a center for abused women
  • Help register people to vote
  • Organize a car wash and donate the profits to charity
  • Help deliver meals and gifts to patients at a local hospital

Helping Children and Schools:

  • Tutor children during or after school
  • Donate stuffed animals to children in hospitals
  • Organize games and activities for children in hospitals or who are visiting hospitalized relatives
  • Knit or crochet baby blankets to be donated to hospitals or homeless shelters
  • Collect baby clothes and supplies to donate to new parents
  • Organize a Special Olympics event for children and teenagers
  • Sponsor a bike-a-thon and give away bike safety gear, like helmets and knee pads, as prizes
  • Collect used sports equipment to donate to families and after-school programs
  • Volunteer at a summer camp for children who have lost a parent
  • Sponsor a child living in a foreign country, either on your own or as part of a group
  • Coach a youth sports team
  • Put on performances for children in hospitals
  • Give free music lessons to schoolchildren
  • Become a volunteer teen crisis counselor
  • Organize a summer reading program to encourage kids to read
  • Organize an Easter egg hunt for neighborhood children
  • Create a new game for children to play
  • Organize events to help new students make friends
  • Babysit children during a PTA meeting
  • Organize a reading hour for children at a local school or library
  • Donate used children’s books to a school library
  • Work with the local health department to set up an immunization day or clinic to immunize children against childhood diseases
  • Volunteer to help with Vacation Bible School or other religious camps

Helping Senior Citizens:

  • Read to residents at a nursing home
  • Deliver groceries and meals to elderly neighbors
  • Teach computer skills to the elderly
  • Drive seniors to doctor appointments
  • Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn
  • Host a bingo night for nursing home residents
  • Host a holiday meal for senior citizens
  • Make birthday cards for the elderly
  • Donate and decorate a Christmas tree at a nursing home
  • Organize a family day for residents of a retirement home and relatives to play games together
  • Ask residents of a retirement home to tell you about their lives
  • Pick up medicine for an elderly neighbor
  • Perform a concert or play at a senior center
  • Help elderly neighbors clean their homes and organize their belongings
  • Rake leaves, shovel snow, or wash windows for a senior citizen
  • Deliver cookies to a homebound senior citizen

Helping Animals and the Environment:

  • Take care of cats and dogs at an animal shelter
  • Clean up a local park
  • Raise money to provide a bulletproof vest for a police dog
  • Plant a tree for Arbor Day
  • Place a bird feeder and bird fountain in your backyard
  • Start a butterfly garden in your community
  • Sponsor a recycling contest
  • Grow flowers in your backyard then give bouquets to hospital patients or people who are housebound
  • Help create a new walking trail at a nature center or park
  • Update the signs along a nature trail
  • Adopt an acre of rainforest
  • Help train service dogs
  • Participate in the cleanup of a local river, pond, or lake
  • Foster animals that shelters don’t have space for
  • Organize a spay and neuter your pet program
  • Care for a neighbor’s pet while they are away
  • Sponsor an animal at your local zoo
  • Train your pet to be a therapy animal and bring it to hospitals or nursing homes
  • Build and set up a bird house
  • Organize a carpool to reduce car emissions
  • Campaign for more bike lanes in your town
  • Volunteer at a nature camp and teach kids about the environment
  • Test the water quality of a lake or river near you
  • Plant native flowers or plants along highways

Helping the Hungry and/or Homeless:

  • Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
  • Donate your old clothes
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Donate old eyeglasses to an organization that collects that and distributes them to people in need
  • Donate non-perishable food to a food bank
  • Donate blankets to a homeless shelter
  • Host a Thanksgiving dinner for people who may not be able to afford their own
  • Offer to babysit or nanny for a family in need
  • Make “care kits” with shampoo, toothbrushes, combs, etc. to donate to homeless shelters
  • Prepare a home-cooked meal for the residents of a nearby homeless shelter
  • Collect grocery coupons to give to a local food bank
  • Help repair or paint a local homeless shelter
  • Donate art supplies to kids in a homeless shelter
  • Help organize and sort donations at a homeless shelter
  • Babysit children while their parents look for jobs
  • Become a Big Buddy for children at a homeless shelter
  • Take homeless children on outings
  • Bake a batch of cookies or loaf of bread and deliver it to a soup kitchen
  • Build flower boxes for Habitat for Humanity houses
  • Organize a winter clothes drive to collect coats, hats, scarves, and gloves to be donated
  • Make first aid kits for homeless shelters

Reducing Crime and Promoting Safety:

  • Volunteer at a police station or firehouse
  • Become a certified lifeguard and volunteer at a local pool or beach
  • Paint over graffiti in your neighborhood
  • Organize a self-defense workshop
  • Organize a drug-free campaign
  • Sponsor a drug-free post-prom event
  • Start or join a neighborhood watch program
  • Create and distribute a list of hotlines for people who might need help
  • Teach a home-alone safety class for children
  • Create a TV or radio public service announcement against drug and alcohol use
  • Become CPR certified
  • Volunteer as a crossing guard for an elementary school

Promoting Community Enhancement:

  • Paint park benches
  • Donate used books to your local library
  • Become a tour guide at your local museum
  • Repaint community fences
  • Plant flowers in bare public areas
  • Organize a campaign to raise money to buy and install new playground equipment for a park
  • Participate in or help organize a community parade
  • Clean up vacant lot
  • Produce a neighborhood newspaper
  • Campaign for more lighting along poorly lit streets
  • Create a newcomers group in your neighborhood to help welcome new families
  • Petition your town leaders to build more drinking fountains and public restrooms
  • Volunteer to clean up trash at a community event
  • Adopt a local highway or road and clean up trash along it
  • Help fix or raise funds to repair a run-down playground
  • Clean up after a natural disaster

IDENTIFY TRAINING NEEDS

Training Needs Analysis (TNA) systematically examines who needs what training in the organisation. This can be identified in two ways: firstly, by looking at individual members of staff and identifying the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required by them to carry out their tasks (task and job analysis); secondly, by looking at organisational changes, for example new legislation or new technology (organisational analysis).

Task and Job Analysis

Task and job analysis is used to identify the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for a particular task or group of tasks that make up a particular job. In simple terms, the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to carry out the job or tasks are listed and then compared with what those doing, or planning to do, the job have. The objective is to identify the gap between the two – the training gap.

Methods

There are a number of methods that can be used in task and job analysis.

• Interviews with staff: these can be specific to the TNA or can be part of an appraisal system.

• Group discussions or interviews: useful as a starter or to get a group to understand the process of TNA. These will show common trends but not very accurate material about individuals within the group.

• Discussions with: managers;

customers or clients; related departments.

This can be a general discussion or specific interviews.

• Analysis of faults or complaints.

• Tests of specific skills or procedures.

• Questionnaires instead of interviews where the numbers are too large or the staff not easy to access.

• Observation at the work place.

There are important considerations in choosing the most appropriate methods.

1. Don’t assume that the people involved understand the process. It may be the first time they have been asked about their training needs.

2. Inform all levels of the organisation about the process, and enlist their support.

3. Use more than one method, as errors can occur through bias in a particular method. For instance, the influence of the observer in the work place or a leading question in the interview. Compare the material from both methods to get the best results.

4. In choosing methods and designing material to be used, for instance questionnaires, interview sheets, etc., be aware of cultural, gender, or systems bias.

Organisational Analysis

Organisational analysis identifies changes or developments that will create training needs for the whole or parts of the organisation.

Some areas that should be considered are:

• New, or changes to, legislation;

• Policy changes;

• Restructuring or reorganisation;

• Redundancies;

• Recruitment;

• New technology;

• Changes in the social climate the organisation works in;

• Changes in the client group;

• Changes in political control;

• Changes in management;

• Changes in funding sources.

The main difference between this and the previous form of TNA is that these changes can usually be anticipated and the training needs identified before there is any effect on the organisation. Once the area of potential training need is identified, an analysis of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required will provide the information needed for preparing the training plan.

Identify Content and Learning Sequence

The Resource Packs offer a large amount of content material on a number of different critical issues, as well as material on foundation topics. The facilitator and the planning group will have to take decisions, based on the identified learning objectives, about which parts of which Resource Packs will be relevant to a particular group of participants. All parts of a Resource Pack are never intended to be used in a single training session.

The planning group should:

• Decide which parts of which Resource Packs will be relevant to the learning needs of the target group;

• Separate the content to be used into what participants must know, should know, and could know;

• Ensure that the training session is of appropriate length to accommodate the must know section of the contents (obviously, if there is more time available, the should know and the could know can also be accommodated).

In planning the sequence of learning, the planning group should be mindful that learners learn best in situations where they start with what they know and move in gradual steps towards the unknown. It is worth planning in a stage at the beginning of the workshop where the participants identify and establish what they know about a particular topic and then plan to build new ideas on to this existing understanding. As if building a house from bricks, the principle is to establish a solid base first and then begin adding successive levels. Once the learners have assimilated (and feel comfortable with) the latest new ideas, they are ready to be introduced to the next new idea.

Consideration should be given to matching the type of content used to the type of participant being trained. For example, senior managers may prefer to work with policy guidelines, executive summaries, and statements of key principles, whereas a technical audience may benefit more from training with case studies and discussion group work based on their recent experiences.