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Communication is Key
Have regular updates or a newsletter that go to administrators, families, or funders. The communication may include program and student accomplishments, notice of upcoming activities, or testimonials from students. It doesn’t have to be long and should be sent regularly using the most effective method. Snail mail? Email? Or updates to a web site?
Consider developing a simple web site to share information about the program.
Take pictures and post them!
The importance of parental engagement and involvement cannot be understated. If parents are involved, students are more apt to be engaged:
- Inform parents about student program activities through a newsletter, regular updates, or website.
- Invite parents to student presentations and special events.
- Include parents as members of an advisory committee.
- Ask them to participate in panels or to tell their story.
When implementing the complete SHARE curriculum, consider constituting an advisory committee that would meet 2-3 times per year.
- Program advocacy
- Program advice from experts and interested
- Communications avenue – help to get the word out
- Links to other interested people
- Potentially funders or advisors regarding outside funding
- School administrators or faculty if you are working with a school
- Community advocates
- Staff from your institution with an interest in these types of activities
Introduce new SHARE participants and their families to the curriculum by hosting an information sharing session. This is one way to build a community around the curriculum and begin an ongoing process of communication and support. Invite program participants' family members – parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. Enjoy each other’s company and get to know one another.
- Serve light refreshments if possible.
- Introduce program staff and ask participants and family members to introduce themselves
- Give a brief presentation about the program.
- Answer questions.
- Videos that may be used to begin or end the program are:
A Capstone event provides an opportunity to acknowledge students' hard work in participating in the SHARE curriculum. This event may take any form that works for you. Food makes a celebration come alive, so consider including either light snacks, a potluck luncheon or dinner, or a dessert reception.
- Invite students and their families, program partners, guest lecturers, and local dignitaries,
- Host a keynote speaker who can speak for about 10 minutes about program content such as health literacy, health disparities, or health advocacy.
- Provide program completion certificates.
- Have the students select one of their cohort to serve as a speaker regarding the program. Consider using a final speech from the In Your Words, With Your Voice lesson.
- Show slides that highlight activities from throughout the year.
- Acknowledge each student's special contribution to the team. Students may vote on them - Best Speaker, Best Encourager, Most Enthusiastic, Most Positive, etc.