School Activities are Engagement Opportunities
Students are the main focus. School leaders are always brainstorming ways to engage students and enrich their educational experience. One of the most effective ways to do that is through school events. Events give students a chance to bond outside of the classroom and foster a greater sense of community.
What few school leaders realize is those same events have the power to engage the public—and win their support, too.
School events aren’t just for students
At first glance, it might seem like all those track meets, science fairs and musicals are for the students. They certainly are, but they’re also for the public! Every school event is an opportunity for community members to see what you’re all about. You get to open the doors and say, “Come on in! We have so many amazing things to show you.”
When you promote these events, it’s important to use messaging that makes community members feel welcome. Let them know everyone is invited, even people who don’t have a direct tie to your schools. The public is welcome to join your school family anytime, and events are an easy way in.
Events can garner community support
Inviting community members to school events is a win for the public and your district. People outside of your schools will feel welcome, and in return, you have an opportunity to win their support. Events are a chance for your schools to shine. Show the public you have a friendly, thriving community worth supporting!
Community support is everything. Your schools not only need the support of students, staff, parents and families, but that of non-parents, alumni, civic groups and elected officials. There are many instances where you need the community’s support, whether you’re faced with bad press, a crisis situation or an upcoming referendum. The public holds great power—make sure they’re on your side.
Show the value beyond your schools
People are more likely to support something if it benefits them one way or another. To gain the community’s support, you need to show them your schools do more than educate students. Show them how your schools benefit the community at large. Events are an opportunity to show everyone that schools mold upcoming generations into future leaders and contributors to society.
Your academic calendar is packed with events. Start thinking about how you can get the public involved with those events. Send the message that school events aren’t just for school members, but for everyone. Instill a sense of belonging, and their support will quickly follow.