Screen a Documentary

Civic Circle® Area: Listen and Learn, Voice

The impact of COVID-19 continues to change our daily lives and routines, but volunteering and civic engagement are just as important as ever. This project can be modified to adhere to social distancing guidelines set by local and national authorities, to do virtually or to do at home and deliver via mail or drop off.

Often, people make donations to relief organizations without knowing the real causes and effects of the issue at hand. Host a documentary film screening about an issue you care about, such as education. Encourage attendees to make a donation related to the cause, such as a children’s book.

What You Need:

  • Classroom or community center with access to video equipment
  • Documentary film
  • Cardboard boxes to collect donations
  • Materials to advertise event


  1. Ask a principal, teacher, or local community center for permission to hold your screening. Make sure you explain that you will need access to a television or projector to show the film.
  • As a virtual option, you can host a “watch party” on a streaming service like Amazon Prime or Netflix to view the documentary together.
  1. Pick a documentary that addresses an issue you care about in some way.
  2. Advertise the event! Post an “admission fee” of one children’s book for attendees (or another donation related to the cause).
  3. Before the screening starts, set out boxes to collect donations.
  4. After the screening, have a discussion about the documentary.
  5. Bring a list of ways the attendees can take action if they’re inspired to volunteer after the documentary.

Optional: Plan and recruit a panel of inspiring, well-rounded experts to bring insights, stories and perspectives on the issue your documentary addresses.

Reflection Questions:

  • Did you consider hunger to be important before this project? How did your project address the issue?
  • What kind of influence did your project have on the group who came to watch the documentary?
  • What are other ways you can address the issue?
Download The DIY Project PDF