Get started with these ideas.
- Figure out your cause. What are you passionate about that you want to bring attention to?
- Create your pledge. Be specific and concrete. Are you pledging to do something or to abstain from something? Here are some ideas:
- Pledge to recycle.
- Pledge to lower your carbon footprint.
- Pledge to lower your energy consumption.
- Pledge to lower your water consumption.
- Pledge not to pollute.
- Pledge not to drink.
- Pledge not to do drugs.
- Pledge to stay tobacco-free.
- Pledge not to discriminate.
- Pledge to vote.
- Pledge to care for your pet.
- Pledge to practice safe sex.
- Plot your spot. Figure out where you want to have people signing your pledge. Go for a high traffic area like the lunchroom, school or parking lot entrance, or even the entrance to the gym before a big game or rally. Creating a Wall of Pledges is also a great way to display all you have collected.
- Ask for the go ahead. Now that you have found your ideal spot, make sure you have permission to be there. The last thing you want is to take the time to create this only to have it torn down.
- Write it out. What will the pledge say? Be specific in what they're pledging to do. Here’s our example for a no alcohol pledge:
I, ________________________, promise to remain alcohol-free. I will not drink, and certainly won’t drink and drive, which I know is very dangerous to myself and for others, too. I will do my best to encourage people I know to not drink, and will not let others drink and drive.
And for a no smoking pledge:
I, ________________________, promise to remain tobacco free. I will not smoke or use any other tobacco products, and I will do my best to stay away from secondhand smoke, which I know is very harmful to my body, too. I will do my best to encourage people I know to quit smoking, and will do my best to support them as they try to quit.
…but be creative! Write whatever you think will appeal to people in your school. Remember keep it brief, professional and legitimate sounding! (Ask a teacher to read over it for extra help.)
- Print ‘em out. You probably won’t need a whole sheet of paper for just one pledge. Maybe you can cut one sheet into two (or even four!) smaller pledges. It will save paper! If you can, try and make them look nice with color or pictures (or even color paper). That way, they will look awesome when they are all hung up.
- Tell them to get their pens out. Now’s the time to get the signatures. As you receive them, hang them up. The more pledges that go up, the more amazing it will look. People will see how many other people have pledged their involvement, and they will be inspired to sign one too! Plus, in some cases, this can serve as GOOD peer pressure. Like if it’s a no alcohol pledge, knowing how many people don’t drink is a great way to keep someone from starting.
- Be realistic. Timing is important when it comes to anything, even pledges. For example, if it’s around prom or spring break, you can modify the no alcohol pledge to be a little less restrictive. Ask them to pledge to assign a designated driver, to not drink and drive. Though it would be great to get people who are underage to promise not to drink, the main concern is their safety, so if they are going to drink, then we just want to make sure that they will NOT get behind the wheel. People may be more willing to sign something like that if they know they are more likely to stick to their promise!