Learn English – Bake sales at school

Bake sales are an easy way to raise money for a school club or sports team. In this episode I talk about how to plan for and hold a bake sale.


American schools organize fun activities. But to make these activities work, they need money.

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

One way schools add extra money for activities is through bake sales. A bake sale is when students make desserts and sell them at school to teachers and students.

What kind of clubs am I talking about? School in America is not just all about math or science or history or learning to write well. Clubs and sports and other activities enrich student life. They provide more opportunities to learn and to connect with other students, but there’s not much money for these clubs. And so teachers, who are in charge of the clubs, who sponsor the clubs, have to be creative about raising money if they want to offer interesting, fun activities. 

When I taught French, I always had a French club. Usually we would meet after school for about an hour, once a month. Well, what kinds of activities would we do, and, and why would we need money? We would meet for art projects….French,     making French things. Like for a Mardi Gras we made French masks for carnival. 

We needed money to go on local field trips, like to art museums, to see French paintings. Or to local film festivals when new French movies would come to our area. All that cost money. And instead of students and families having to pay, we sold baked goods. We sold cookies and cupcakes and all sorts of things. And the biggest thing we did with money that we made is when we went on trips out of the country, like to Quebec in Canada, a French-speaking part of the country, or even to France. Kids would do all sorts of things to raise money. They would sell things. And that way, what they had to pay, what their families had to pay, was less. 

All the money didn’t go just for us, for the club members. We also used bake sales to make money, to raise money for good projects. For example, when Hurricane Katrina hit America, gee, it’s probably been 20 years. Um, Katrina struck the city of New Orleans in Louisiana and flooded the city and many people died. So, with the money that we raised, we sent that money to a local school there who had lost everything. They had lost, like their building was flooded, they had lost supplies. So, we raised money through bake sales to send to a local school in Louisiana. We also used the money we raised through baking desserts, we used that money to send to the French-speaking country of Haiti. So that,….to a school, to buy school supplies for kids. So, we did good things with the money and we provided, I provided culturally rich experiences for my students. And I was trying to make French fun. 

Well, what goes into a bake sale? The first thing you have to do is pick a date and get the date and the activity approved by the principal. Once you have the day, then students start making posters, advertising the bake sale that say: “Bring your money Wednesday.  French Club Bake Sale. All desserts 50 cents to a dollar.” So, you advertise it. You let the kids and the teachers know. 

The next thing is that students have to commit. They have to write their name down and say, ‘I will bring in a dozen…. I’ll bring in a dozen cookies. I’ll bring in a dozen cupcakes. I’ll bring in some brownies.’ Sometimes the baked goods were actually French baked goods. We would coordinate, we would time the bake sale with a French holiday like Mardi Gras and cook, make something French. But the students didn’t care. All they wanted was to eat. 

When would we have the bake sale? Most of the schools I worked in had a mid-morning break for about 20 minutes where kids could relax, get a snack, talk with their friends. So, we would set up the tables, have everything displayed. And French Club members would be working. They’d be working the table. 

I would have gone to the bank the previous day to get change. Most kids gave like a dollar or a $5 bill and I had to have dollar bills, singles, $1 bills and lots and lots and lots of quarters. So, that was my job. And during the bake sale, I would stay around watching and just supervising the money.

Oftentimes the bake sale would extend into lunch, after lunch when kids want dessert. And it wasn’t just kids. Teachers, too, would buy our treats. Because let’s face it, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like eating? And teachers and kids all have sweet teeth. They have a sweet tooth. That’s what we say when you have a fondness, a likeness for sugar. You have a sweet tooth. 

We usually did very well. We usually sold most of the baked goods. And at lunchtime, if there were any left, we would drop the price. Two cupcakes for the price of one, two cookies for the price of one. We wanted to get rid of all the baked goods. We always made money and it really helped. One, the kids loved it. The French Club members loved it. The rest of the students liked it. And we had fun with the activities we did and we helped others.

Now in America, bake sales are not the only way to make money. Some clubs and some sports teams do car washes as a way of making money on a Saturday. But for me as a French Club sponsor and the French teacher, I thought bake sales were easy and the kids really enjoyed it.

Well, what about you, where you live, in non-pandemic times, when there’s not COVID, does your school do bake sales? Do you raise money? Do you collect money for certain activities or does your school provide money for the activities? Tell me about it. Leave me a comment below this video. And if you would like the written transcript to today’s episode, go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com. And about a day after this video uploads on YouTube, I will have the transcript on my website. Well, that’s it for this episode, I’m Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time.

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

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