It is important to reach out to the community. Below are some tips on how to do it.
- Make engagement a priority
Make sure that you know where your priorities are. If you truly want to open your school for community outreach, you have to set and make it a priority.
- Establish the infrastructure for community engagement
Having a set infrastructure, such as mission statements, plans for engagement as well as goals for the program will help focus the needs of the administrators.
- Communicate proactively within the community
Inform the community of your plans. Meet with community leaders and get their insight on how the partnership could benefit students and parents.
- Respond to community needs
Remember that community outreach needs to be two ways. The community will reach out if you are listening, and building that relationship will keep the programming alive.
- Offer participation
Involving the community is not just putting on events, it’s inviting them to things like spelling bees, reading days, and spirit weeks. Reaching out to parents is a good way to start.
- Turn supporters into advocates
There are always community supporters that can become advocates for your school: former parents, alumni, or retired teachers. Ask them if they are willing to get involved with your school.
Examples of community based projects:
- Ask local established cultural centers to allow students to participate in tours and other opportunities
- Attend a local art based event (museum, art gallery, etc)
- Volunteer at an after school program
- Read to other kids at the library
- Help distribute food at a local food bank