Connect with Your Community

Connect with Your Community

Get ideas for getting involved and making a difference in your community.


3 - 12+


Experiential Learning

Photo: Series of large garden plots.
Photograph by Kevin Carlyle, MyShot

Get ideas for how you can make a difference in your community through everyday activities. Meet your neighbors while learning more about where you live.

Photo: Boy jumps rope at a playground.
Improve Your Neighborhood

Make your neighborhood a better place. Volunteer to do things like pick up trash or repair playground equipment.

Map of Waco, TX in the National Geographic Education MapMaker Interactive.
Find Your Parks

Use the MapMaker Interactive to find where you live. Zoom in to find your community, and take note of all the public parks, big and small. Then visit a new park each weekend. Take pictures and make your own guidebook of parks in your community.

Photo of people in a library.
Community Jobs

Find out what different people in your community do. With a family member, go talk to a firefighter, a librarian, a construction worker, and people in other professions that interest you.

Photo of a celebration in an Indian community.
Community Heritage

Research the cultural heritage of your community. Find out why different groups settled in your community. Did they move to be near family? Were they displaced due to war, poverty, or persecution?

Photo of a young boy drinking from a water fountain.
Investigate Your Water

Find out where your local drinking water comes from. Brainstorm ways that you and other people in the community can help keep the water supply safe and clean.

Photo of a boy throwing a handball.
Join a Team

Join a community team or league.

Photo of a girl covered in pink powder.

Offer to babysit a neighbor's child.

Photo of a girl with a dog.
Help a Neighbor

Adopt a neighbor who could use some extra help. Lend a hand with shoveling snow, scraping ice from a car, yard work, taking out trash and recycling, walking a dog, grocery shopping, or other tasks.

Photo of people at an outdoor party.
Organize a Block Party

Ask neighbors to bring food, music, and activities that reflect their culture or family.

Photo: Children lined up on a step read books.
Raise Money

Start a drive to help members of your community or another community. For example, start a book or coat drive, a disaster-relief drive, a fundraising drive, or a canned goods drive.

Picture of a vacant lot.
Adopt a Vacant Lot

Make it a school or class project. Keep the lot clean and plant flowers to make it beautiful. Be sure you have permission to be on the property, and always take a friend or adult with you.

Picture of laundry hanging outside.
Donate Things

Collect things you no longer use and clothes you've outgrown. Give them to charity.

Picture of people picking up trash.
Pick Up Trash

Clean up litter on your street.

Picture of gas jars.

Clean up a vacant parking lot or piece of land in your community.

Picture of a recycling bin.

Start a recycling program in your community.

Picture of leaves in a river.
Water Clean-Up

With an adult, clean up a stream, river, or other body of water in your community.

Picture of buildings and a car.
Take a Neighborhood Inventory

Count houses, apartments, and cars per block in different parts of town. Consider reasons for the differences you observe.

Picture of blackberries and strawberries.
Plan a Seasonal Celebration

Invite your family and/or neighbors. Prepare local foods particular to that season, such as strawberries in late spring or sweet corn in summer. Display flowers that are in bloom or trees that have leafed out and make identification tags for them that include both the name of the plant and the season.

Photo of people picking up trash.
Earth Day Celebration

Host an Earth Day celebration on your block. Organize a block party and share your concerns about the local environment with your neighbors. After the party, organize a group to go out and pick up trash, work on a neighbor's garden, or help maintain a local greenway.

Picture of thunderstorm clouds.
Prepare for Natural Disasters

Find out what forces of nature are most likely to strike your community. Then, with your family, discuss how to prepare for natural disasters and how your family could respond to the natural disasters you may face in your community. Share what you learn with other people in the community.

Picture of a woman photographing plants.
Photograph Nature

Keep a camera handy for impromptu photography sessions and bring your camera along when you visit the park and other community locations. You can even take photos of the treasures right in your backyard. Keep a scrapbook of photographs taken around town and share them with out-of-town guests who want to learn more about your community.

Map of the Gulf of Mexico.
What's in a Name?

All names have a historical origin. What about place names in and around your community? Use a map or the MapMaker Interactive and make a list of local names—names of your town or city, neighboring towns, parks in your community, or names of rivers and creeks—and research the origin of these place names. Try using your local library or online research tools. You may uncover a surprising story or find other places around the world with similar names.

Picture of the opening ceremony of BioBlitz 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Conduct a BioBlitz

Build awareness of biodiversity by gathering your school community on campus for a BioBlitz event, to explore and collect data on the diversity of animals, plants, and other organisms in a place. Use the iNaturalist app to load photos and help identify species while contributing data for scientific research.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Christina Riska Simmons
Jessica Shea, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Photo Researcher
Jessica Shea, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

March 29, 2024

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