How to get your community more involved in schools
The phrase it takes a village to raise a child implies that to form an adult, a child must learn many different lessons from many different people in his or her environment. In other words, personalities are formed not only under the influence of the immediate family but of the whole community.
A similar principle can be applied to the education of children and young adults, but this principle is often not seen that way. Instead, education is once again interpreted as a matter of the parents in question. It is the parents’ job to choose and fund a child’s education, while the community takes a passive role, if any, in this whole ordeal.
While clearly this is a sub-optimal scenario, what can the community do to get started? How can a community get involved? Well, here are some suggestions that might be a great starting point.
How to involve the community more?
The first thing to consider is how to involve the community more. The question is that you have to start at the bottom. Here are some ideas for you to consider.
Involve student families more
The term community can be interpreted many different ways. Each student’s immediate community is their family and primary caregivers. So how can they get more involved? Well, first, through regular communication between them and the teaching staff.
They should call to request grades and inquire about student attendance. Then, since education is an ongoing process with many stages, they might want to show more interest in the next educational institution the student is going to enroll in. For example, questions about applying to university should be taken very seriously.
It’s a two-way street. Schools can also do a lot to involve these parents. For example, they could be more transparent and accessible. They could also learn about the family situation even before a child becomes a problem. One way to establish this collaboration early on is to create parent and family advocacy groups.
Use the fact that the school is an educational institution
While an impromptu workshop or class can be incredibly effective, you need to take advantage of the fact that the school is already a learning institution. There is so much equipment out there, and an open day at a school can make so much difference in their lives.
In a school, you can start a program by project quite naturally. You can also establish cross-disciplinary collaborations to show students that the things they learn aren’t usually applied on their own. This alone can help them understand that the things they are learning have real applications, which is already contributing to their intrinsic motivation.
Other than that, you can turn everything into a skill-based learning experience. Just like with regular programs, they must complete one course to unlock the next. You can do tests to serve as checkpoints.
Involve local businesses
Local businesses can help improve the quality of the program in different ways. First, companies employ experts, which means they can contribute by sending professionals as guest speakers. Then they can sponsor events, donate to schools, or even start open houses and internship programs.
The truth is, you can even contact a company that specializes in K-12 Education programs. With Educational Programming as a Service, you can make the most meaningful difference in the community by delivering premium educational content on demand. Not to mention that managing the marketing behind this is, in itself, quite difficult.
Try to increase engagement
Keep in mind that while some of this increased engagement may happen spontaneously, you will often need to nudge the bigger picture. Here are some ideas worth trying.
Workshops organized by professionals
Workshops are a unique didactic method for several reasons. They provide you with hands-on training on the current topic. Most often they are used to reach non-traditional audiences and explore unusual didactic techniques.
The key to a workshop is to provide an educational environment in which participants can express their creativity. In other words, they are guided by professionals and helped to discover ideas on their own. They are then trained on how to use this idea to their advantage.
Most importantly, workshops provide a safe environment where various ideas and experiences can be tested without dangerous repercussions. Having a key person leading the workshop can help generate more interest in the community.
Student volunteering at local charities or nonprofits
So far, you may have concluded that the burden of effort is on the organization. In fact, students may be encouraged to make an effort to volunteer for local charities and nonprofits.
First of all, it’s an ethical thing and it helps build character. were already make an effort to build a better world, so why not apply some of these goals to our youth as well? Second, it helps give these students a sample of what it’s like to have real-life responsibility, which is an invaluable experience.
Keep in mind that it is also a way to make a difference, which is of great interest to millennials and younger generations. Besides that, they can also socialize and meet people with similar values/inclinations.
Not to mention that each task requires you to master a specific skill. For students engaging in something like this for the first time, it will undoubtedly involve a learning experience.
Better education only makes better people if it is shaped by a healthy community. To ensure that all of these factors hold, you must ensure that the community is actively involved in this educational process. It is also essential that this takes place at all levels of the community. For example, you can’t expect the whole local community to care about education if parents don’t. As we said, it takes a village and a lot of effort, but the result is worth it.