Signature Programs

Signature School-Community Programs

These annual district-wide programs celebrate what can happen when our schools and our larger community join forces. With each of them, our mission is to expand students' learning experience and/or produce a stronger community built on pride and philanthropy.

'Stuff the Bus' Food Drive for Reach Out Lakota

stuff the bus graphic

Community outreach and school spirit are at the center of this district-wide tradition that typically kicks off in October and continues through the month. 

Sponsored by the Lakota Board of Education, the annual food drive is brings all of Lakota together to compete against Mason City Schools and the Hamilton City School District. Students in the early childhood schools all the way up through the high schools can participate by bringing canned goods and other non-perishable items to school, all of which are donated to Reach Out Lakota, an emergency clothing and food pantry serving West Chester and Liberty townships. 

The competition consistently stocks Reach Out Lakota's shelves with thousands of items, sustaining them through several months of operation. Check out our latest district headlines for more information every October. 


Summer Fun Fair

Summer Fun FairIn early March, Lakota hosts its annual Summer Fun Fair. The fair, held on two separate nights for added convenience, is a great way for parents to learn about the many local businesses and non-profit organizations who provide summer programming for students in grades K-12.

Vendors range from summer camps, learning centers and childcare facilities to athletic leagues, art programs and local parks and recreation. They are available all at one time and in one location to share information and answer questions about their summer offerings. Live entertainment by some of the performing arts vendors is provided and door prizes will be drawn each evening.

Exhibiting is free to any business or organization with a youth summer program or activity to promote. Contact Cindy Zahneis to add your business to our vendor list. Click here to view a list of participating vendors from the most recent event.

Dress Me Up

Dress Me Up dresserInnovation and creativity are the drivers behind this community-school project that involves student artists in grades K-12.

IKEA West Chester, in partnership with Lakota’s art teachers, hosts “Dress Me Up,” a community silent auction and sale in early May benefiting Lakota’s art program. The art project challenges participating Lakota students to work as a team to transform a solid pine three-drawer TARVA dresser into a work of art. The final product, inspired by a famous artist or art movement, is sold to the highest bidder for the benefit of that school’s art program. Younger artists contribute vibrant paintings, displayed in IKEA frames, that are also available for purchase.

Most recently, the community art auction has generated more than $6,000 for individual school art programs. Check out our latest district headlines for more information in the spring.

March Madness Elementary Basketball Tournament

March Madness is a charity and community-sponsored basketball tournament in which any Lakota student (grades 3-6) can participate to represent his or her school and help raise money for local causes. Besides its intent to give every student the experience of playing for a school team, the tournament is organized by local volunteers in the spirit of school pride, community building and philanthropy.

The two-week tournament tips off in early March, with games taking place in gymnasiums all around Lakota. More than 1,000 students, representing every elementary school, will participate each year.

The entire community is invited to come out and enjoy the games and help support the benefiting charities. There is a $2 admission into the games for adults; kids are free. Volunteers are the heart of the program, helping fill roles as coaches, officials, concession managers, scorekeepers and more. To learn more or volunteer for next year's tournament, contact Mike Goldman or Matt Lykins.

Educators of Excellence

Educator of Excellence Jeff Rouff with Superintendent Dr. Karen MantiaOver the years, the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty, with the help of the community, has helped recognize and honor excellent educators from the Lakota School District.

The annual Lakota “Educator of Excellence” award is made possible with generous support from the Community Foundation. Two awards are given: one to a recipient from the elementary level (PreK-6) and another to a recipient from the secondary level (7-12). The winners receive an award, along with a $2,000 grant to be used for a special project at their school positively impacting students.

Outstanding teachers can be nominated to receive this honor by students, colleagues, parents or any community member who wishes to acknowledge their exceptional effort in the classroom. Nominations are not limited to classroom teachers. Award recipients may be any person (teacher, administrator, counselor, support staff, etc.) working with young people in the Lakota School District.

Check out our latest district headlines for more information, including the nomination form, in the spring.