May 9, 2006

Building Support for Your Program Part 1

Here is the information I had collected a while back about ideas for building support for your program. The information is adapted from an article written by Dick Prouty, a long time adventure educator and current CEO of Project Adventure.

Many persons feel that having been successful in getting a program going they can relax and concentrate on “doing it.” Teaching or counseling directly is where most of us have our training and what we most enjoy. The problem with this attitude, especially in the cost consciousness atmosphere most of us live with, is that the support, both of money, resources and moral support of the groups that can really help nurture your program may not be there when you do need it.

The following strategies have been brought up at our workshops in one fashion or another. The common theme of the strategies is communicate (don’t assume others know because you and your students do) and include (people who you’ve included and recognized for helping rarely criticize later).

Ten Strategies for Building Support

1) Effectively evaluate your program and share the results with a variety of audiences. This doesn’t have to be a formal evaluation. Even short comments by students in a student or parent newsletter can go a long way.

2) Involve administrators or parents or board members in training workshops. This strategy can really help others understand the power of your program.

3) Offer to train / include other teachers or peripheral staff in your training sessions. Building links to peers is critical for the survival of many programs.

4) Involve potential critics in the planning and / or committee review of your program. Include! Include!

5) Arrange for students in program to present to meetings of administrators, parents or school committee members. With proper planning, this can make credibility zoom.

Continued in the next post . . . .

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