What is the White Hats Program?
White Hats' two main goals are to:
- publicize the many good things that are going on across the country in our schools and local communities and
- honor and encourage volunteers
Although anyone of any age may apply or nominate a person or group for White Hat recognition, we want to especially encourage students to seek out the good news in their communities and feed it to local media outlets and urge publication. Pam and Wanda's students have shown that young people are capable of acting as goodwill ambassadors, arranging banquets, picnics or other gatherings to publicly honor those who selflessly work for the betterment of their communities.
Anyone who has performed community service through an established national agency or through local efforts is a potential White Hats honoree. We urge students and community members to email us describing specific projects or good deeds. We will publish these stories online as role models to encourage visitors to copy some of the ideas in their own communities.
The White Hats program also reaches out to elected officials and government employees. The general public has gotten the message that bureaucracy is too large and too costly. They need to hear about the cost cutting measures and efficiencies that are taking place within many government agencies. The Harry Singer Foundation collects and publicizes the exemplary in the public sector. With your input we can update, publicize and together honor legislators and other government workers who are often unjustly villified. Contrary to popular opinion, many of these public sector workers are part of the solution; not the problem.
More roles for students, teachers, the retired and community youth leaders
We are hoping to attract organizers from all walks of life in any local community but initial support will generally start with youth leaders and religious and regular classroom teachers. As classroom teachers, Pam and Wanda made the White Hats project part of school curriculum. We proposed that students communicate one-on-one with potential adult sponsors and get the local media involved. If a different student takes on the obligation of contacting sponsors and sending good news to the media each week, little class time is required beyond planning and coordinating events. We expect the schools to honor participating students during assemblies in their own way and/or by awarding certificates of recognition and lapel pins from the Harry Singer Foundation.
It is likely that individual student commitment would involve interaction with the community on weekends and/or evenings. Due to time restraints in the classroom more and more teacher sponsors volunteer after school hours to this project or recruit capable student leaders for that role. In some schools it is a senior project or an honors class takes it on.
Any month that we have fifty or more new postings the Foundation will contribute a $1,000 to honor the project of the month. If White Hats thrives, the Harry Singer Foundation will also sponsor a conference on the Monterey Peninsula where ideas will be exchanged and the best programs in each category would be displayed and hopefully, copied.