April 2001: After listening to you
(Mac) at the Life
Long Learning Conference in Missoula, we brainstormed ways to get parents to
attend. We came up with the idea that students could earn grade increases
through parents/adult attendance at your presentation. In our school, you can
loose from 2% to 5% in all classes if you mess up. Why not give students a way
to earn that back and to reward everyone for their participation? For each
parent attending, his/her child will earn a 2% grade increase in all classes, K
through 12. If anyone else in the community attends on behalf of a child, the
child receives a 1% grade increase per person registered for him/her.
Ultimately, students can earn a maximum of a 5% increase for all their classes.
We also proposed "closing down Sidney" for 1 1/2 hours that night to get every
adult in town to the meeting. We returned home and talked to our principal about
bringing you to Sidney.
April: We looked at the dates that would impact
the most people. We chose the day before Teacher's Convention because you could
talk to students during the day, parents at night, and educators who came here
for Teacher's Convention the next morning. Kathi Roberts confirmed the dates with your organization (see
August 2001: We spoke to our high school
principal and superintendent about incentives to get parents involved and
received the go ahead. One of the reasons the superintendent was happy about
this is because we weren't just bringing in a speaker, we were also following up
with parenting classes. Our principal took the idea to the other
school principals and got their support also.
September 2001: We talked to two clergy
organizations about supporting this presentation. The churches were hesitant at
first because in our community Wednesday night is "church" night. Since we were
proposing the adults attend that evening - not students - the churches were okay
with the idea. Various churches ran information in their weekly and monthly
bulletins. They also encouraged their adult Wednesday night groups to attend the
presentation rather than holding adult classes.
September: We spoke with the Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber sent faxes out to all chamber businesses encouraging their support.
They also interviewed us for the local noon television show to help promote it.
This aired Wednesday, October 10th, a week before you presented.
September: We made up fliers to place in
businesses. Kathy downloaded the graphics from your website and added our
information (see attached).
September: Tammy spoke to the Kiwanis Club and
received their encouragement and support to help hand out information and help
with registration the night of the presentation.
September: We compiled a list of all businesses
in the community and sent out letters to each explaining our proposal.
October 2001: We met with local newspaper
reporters and gave them information to run in their papers.
October: We went to every business in town - NOT
just Main Street - and hung up fliers, encouraged adults to attend, and asked
the 42 night businesses to consider closing for 1 1/2 hours. For those corporate
businesses that said they absolutely could not close, we suggested they look at
their employee scheduling and try to schedule any adult with kids in school to
have the night off. We also went to any nighttime community organization and
asked them to reschedule/close for that time (Hockey, Gymnastics & the Public
Library all closed for us)! Going to all businesses took us 2 full days and 3
more half days.
October: We got on the morning announcements at
school and explained the idea to the students so they could encourage their
parents, neighbors, employers, friends, and relatives to attend.
October: We made registration forms (postcard
size) to speed registration. An example is attached. We included registration
for the parenting classes right on the forms.
October: We went to the local grocery stores and
got 52 paper bags. We double bagged them and wrote a capital letter of the
alphabet on each.
October: We contacted the secretaries at all
school and asked for alphabetical by grade lists of all students.
October 17: That afternoon you presented to the
middle school and high school kids (750) and they LISTENED! They are still
saying great things about you. That night, we set the bags out along the gym
hallway and put 4 clipboards out for Parenting Class registration. We had
registrations forms, hundreds of sharpened pencils, and copies of handouts for
everyone. You presented and the parents (1,000) loved your message. We set up
and video taped your presentation for interested parents who were unable to
attend. Parents dropped their registrations into the paper bag beginning with
the first letter of their last name. They also signed up for parenting classes
October 18: You presented to the approximately
300 educators that morning; we gave each educator handouts too. They were
impressed! Several asked how they could get you to present to their school.
We've passed your website on!!!
October 18-19: We had 4-5 people going through
all the registrations to credit the students for adult participation.
October 21: Tammy and a student counted up all
the registration forms and pulled any that were marked for parenting classes.
801 registration forms were turned in, many with two parents on one sheet. All
parenting class registration was checked and counted (102 families)!!! We are
still getting phone calls for parenting class registration and to view the
videotape we made.
October 22-25: Tammy compiled and submitted to
each teacher a roster with their students and their participation points. At the
elementary level, every student had a minimum of 3 points and at the middle
school and high school every student had at least 1 point. Most had 4-5 points.
Suggestions: At the elementary level, the
percentage points weren't necessarily applicable. Several teachers had pizza
parties, special treats, etc. Some gave out free homework passes for each point.
Make sure the administration talks to their teachers before universally
Prepare handouts. Print the "Five Rules for
Parents" and have them distributed to attendees as they arrive.
(Printer-friendly version of "Five Rules",
Mac generally requests a microphone and prefers a wireless
"lavaliere microphone" if one is available. However, he often
does his presentation with no microphone, so he
will use whatever you believe works best for your situation.