21 Proven Techniques to Help Make Your Parenting NightA Success
***(Taken directly from John Abrams Parenting Seminar Information Packet)***
The toughest task with any parenting nights is getting folks to show up. Getting butts in the seats!
With just a little bit of planning and a tiny bit of work, your Bully Prevention Parenting Night can be a complete success.
Special Note: As an added bonus, you can also use these ideas for your family nights.
PROMOTING YOUR EVENT
1.) Poster – A promotional poster should be provided by your speaker. If not, make up your own. Feel free in printing it (or taking it to your local printer) and hanging it in the place in the school with the most “parent traffic”. Print a few. Hang them all over the school if you like.
2.) Parent Flyer – A parent flyer should be provided by your speaker. Use that flyer or create your own with bits and pieces from the flyer. Send this home with your students to promote the event.
3.) Post it on the Marquee – Not every school can change the lettering on their school marquee, but if you can, then do it. It can read “Friday, Jan 17th – Important Parenting Seminar on Bully Prevention”.
4.) Offer a HOMEWORK PASS to any child who’s parents attend – Students love homework passes. A little bribe goes a long way.
5.) Voice Mail Broadcasting – If you already subscribe to a voice mail broadcasting system, now’s the time to send a message to all your parents. Send at least two reminders.
6.) Promote it Everywhere Else – Do you have a weekly school newsletter? An email blast system? Any other common communication with the parents? If so, use them to their fullest extent.
7.) Post it on your Webpage or Blog – That says it all. You can use the copy from the voice broadcast announcements.
8.) School Assembly the Day of the Parenting Seminar – Get all the students together and get them all revved up about the evening. This is where you can offer them the homework pass or any other small little bribe. Also, if you have any plans for the students during the seminar, make sure to promote it there.
9.) Final Announcement Before the End of School – If you have a school wide P.A. system, then use it. Right before the end of school, make an announcement that gets the students really psyched about telling their parents. Remind them of the little bribe.
10.) Private Schools: Offer Tuition Discount – Offer them money and people will come. Period. Even a $25.00 discount gets butts in the seats.
11.) Make a Door Poster – Throughout the week leading up to the event, have your students create a giant “Bully Free” poster to put on their class door. Each class can do it. You can even have a contest if you like. They can put all sorts of bully prevention slogans, paint hand-prints, whatever they want. Post the giant posters on each door and make sure to promote the event on each.
AT THE EVENT
1.) Follow-up Materials – Have the follow-up materials available during and after the seminar. Parents love to write notes on the follow-up materials.
2.) Child Care – Most parenting seminars are designed for parents only. Ask your speaker if it’s appropriate for students. Sometimes a few children in the audience is unavoidable, but to get a better turn-out and more receptive parents, it’s a great idea to have child care and promote it as such. This is super important.
3.) Free Concessions – Make coffee, tea, cookies or other fun finger food available for free. Make sure to promote the Free (whatever) on your posters, website etc… People love free stuff.
4.) Charge for Concessions – If you don’t want to offer them free, then by all means charge a small fee for them. Recoup some of your costs. Make sure to announce at the beginning, middle and end of the seminar that concessions ARE available and that all money will be going towards (insert fundraiser name here).
5.) Entertain the Kidletts – Whether you decide to do “arts and crafts”, play a favorite Disney video or hire a magician or other entertainer, it’ll be planning well spent. There are all sorts of inexpensive entertainers on www.partypop.com, or simply look on-line for good arts and crafts ideas.
6.) Get Bilingual Parents Involved – If your school has a large number bilingual parents, make sure to have an interpreter there. Also, promote this idea in all of your materials.
7.) Offer Additional Discussion Period Afterwards- Many have problems with their own children and are there to figure out solutions that may or may not be covered in the seminar. This can be a great time for the principal, teachers and parents to have a solid pow-wow.
OTHER GREAT TIPS AND IDEAS
1.) Sponsorship – Want to make some money at the event? Contact local businesses to sponsor the event. Ask them for cash donations and/or donations of goods to sell or auction off. Offer the sponsor some sort of advertising opportunity and/or ask them to do it out of the kindness of their heart. Because of the subject matter, you’ll be surprised with the response.
2.) Monthly Seminars – The most successful parenting nights (by far) are put on by schools that have parenting meetings once a month at the same time every month (example: The 3rd Thursday of every month). But they don’t have to all cost money. Contact your local Fire Department and Police Department. Most have free safety seminars dealing with gangs, drug use, internet, stranger danger etc… Also, contact your local water company. They usually have free conservation seminars. You can even talk to your local hospital. Most have community outreach programs that are available for school parenting evenings.
3.) Partner with a sister school – Two schools are better than one. Choose one venue. Promote it at both schools. Double your attendance and cut your costs in half.
If and when you decide to run a parenting night, whether it’s Free or from a Paid Presenter, make sure to make it as successful as possible by using as many of these proven techniques as possible.
I appreciate your comments.
Dedicated to reducing bullying at your school!
John Abrams – www.AmazingSchoolAssemblies.com
Southern California’s Top Elementary School Assembly Performer