The Torrey Pines Elementary School Education Foundation formed a service club for students at the La Jolla, Calif., school and organized monthly projects. Activities included painting over urban graffiti, creating activity bags for patients at a children’s hospital, running a food drive, and helping repair nesting sites for an endangered bird species. They also sought to have the children teach each other about community service.

What the judges loved: It was educational and broadening for students, it encouraged involvement by having parents and students work together, and it continued throughout the year.

Cool fact: The projects got student leaders excited. Then student leaders got their fellow students excited, who communicated that excitement to their parents. The result was much broader participation than expected.