Recently our school participated in Vehicle Day for grades Kindergarten-2nd. What an awesome morning for everyone involved. However this School Counselor was totally exhausted when it was over!
For many years I was responsible for finding my own vehicles and I would try to get enough for all my students K-5 to participate. I started by sending home a flyer to see if I had parents who used a vehicle in their work that might be interested in participating.
We held our Vehicle Day on the open field behind the school. The vehicle drivers arrived about 8:30 and parked their vehicles in a big circle. Classes traveled inside the circle in a clock-wise direction every 6 minutes when I blew the whistle. I started rotations at 8:45 with the first half of my students, the second group came out for their turn about 10:00. The drivers stayed until about 11:30. These men and ladies loved their jobs and were ready and willing to explain it in a kid friendly way with lots of props! Not only did we have a beautiful day, but the kids got a great introduction to careers and heard from all our guests on the importance of being a good listener and the importance of school.
Vehicle Day Organization
Interested in arranging Vehicle Day for your students? Here is a helpful checklist for creating and organizing your own Vehicle Day.
4 weeks before
- Choose a date and get it on your school calendar.
- Let everyone know Vehicle Day is coming.
- Send home parent letter asking for participants.
- Follow up with volunteers.
2-3 weeks before
- Call/request vehicle drivers from local businesses, requesting phone numbers, addresses, and email. Keep a detailed list for next year. (Vehicle Planning Sheet)
- Send a letter/email thanking drivers for agreeing to come with information about the day, start time duration, where to park, sign-in, length of rotations, ages of students and estimated number of students participating, etc.
- Organize schedule for when classes visit vehicles. Get permission from administration and special area to make changes to lunch or special area schedule if needed.
2-3 days before
- Email completed schedule to participating teachers, office staff, and administration.
- Make confirmation/reminder phone calls/emails to vehicle drivers.
- Shop for driver hospitality room (coffee, sugar, creamer, cups, spoons, napkins, plates, bottled water).
- Lay out a map of how you will arrange vehicles.
- Gather sign-in sheets, pens, and name tags for drivers.
- Gather radio, camera, timer, whistle, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, ( I live in Florida) notepad and pen for keeping track of who started at each vehicle for students writing thank you notes.
- Set up coffee pot and rolling cooler for driver "hospitality room".
- Get a GOOD night's sleep!
- Wear comfy clothes and sneakers!!!
- Pick up doughnuts
- Get to school early to turn on coffee pot and set out doughnuts
- Fill rolling cooler with ice and bottled water
- Greet drivers at school entrance with a smile, a thank you, sign-in sheet, name tag, instructions for where to park their vehicle, the location of the hospitality room, and restrooms.
- Send classes to vehicles, time their rotations, blow whistle, take pictures, REPEAT!
- Half way through the event roll your cooler around and give drivers an icy cold water.
- When the event is over have drivers sign-out and invite them to enjoy any remaining goodies.
- Email each classroom teacher with the name of the driver of the first vehicle they saw and the due date for completing thank you notes.
- Ask teachers and students for feedback about Vehicle Day (Google Survey for Vehicle Day)
- Evaluate and reflect on changes/improvements for next year.
- Mail thank you notes.
- File it all away for next year.