Communicating with your constituencies is important, but communicating is merely the first step

in getting people involved. There are infinite numbers of ways to interest your community in its

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school. The only limitation is your imagination and resourcefulness. It is vital that educators be

open to all options. Don’t focus just on fiscal resources, but seek out in-kind services and

mutually beneficial personnel resources. Create programs that give the community a vested

interest in education—and in the local school.

Most adults like to be around happy, energetic, positive youngsters, so encourage

student programs that interact with the community as much as possible. The Ninilchik, Alaska,

schools post notices of all school events at local businesses, which sends a solid “everybody is

welcome” message.

Tutoring. Research has proven that one-on-one tutoring has a major impact on at-risk students.

Most people who volunteer in schools do so because they have a desire to positively influence a

child’s life. Tutoring programs that are structured so that the tutors are able to build a

relationship with a student, serve as a role model, and observe a child’s progress on a regular

basis are the most successful at recruiting and retaining volunteers. Elderly and retired persons

constitute a superb talent bank. In addition, companies that might not financially support a

special project may be more than willing to offer employees release time each week for tutoring

students. Everyone wins in this kind of program because of the valuable service provided and

the goodwill generated.


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