June 7th, 2013

Plan a House Party, Post it on the Map

With the school year winding down, it’s a great time to begin planning your activites and events for Attendance Awareness Month. But how do you get started?

On our webinar today, Must be Present to Win, we outlined a strategy for bringing stakeholders–educators, business leaders, community nonprofits, faith-based groups, social workers and volunteers–together in one room to talk about what approaches your school or community wants to pursue. We’re calling them “House Parties,” which in common parlance means an event that gathers potential supporters for a campaign or cause. In this case the cause is attendance awareness, and the goal is mobilizing the entire community. We shared:

The webinar, co-hosted with the United Way Worldwide, also provided some key messages that everyone should build their attendance campaigns around. To be successful, we need the main messages about attendance and chronic absence repeated over and over by as many trusted sources of information as possible. Our goal is to saturate communities with these messages during the month of September so we can begin the school year with a strong culture of going to school every day. We will need the help of as many groups as possible to reach students and families in every school and neighborhood using as many different forms of communication as possible.

Speakers from three local communities–Salt Lake City; Austin, Texas; and Covington, Kentucky–described how they are reaching out to the parents, businesses and volunteers to promote better attendance and plan activities. As they spoke, webinar participants engaged in a lively chat, comparing notes about reaching out to faith leaders, engaging parents and local challenges.

Communities planning events or special activities can now post what they’re doing on our Attendance Awareness Map. As you develop more plans, feel free to post again.

And if you want to proclaim your involvement, post a badge on your website, e-mail signature or social media profile.

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