Looking back to Artsmarketing.com today, I noticed they had a link to a FAQ about marketing outreach programs to schools. It is pretty informative for folks who want to do such things. It talks about who the decision makers and gatekeepers for schools are, what times of the year are bad to contact schools to set up outreach, how high school is different from elementary school.
The FAQ also discusses how to position your outreach so it will be more likely to be viewed as valuable to the educational process. It also directs groups to resources if they want to synch their offerings with teacher’s lesson plans, how to create good study guides and generally strengthen a relationship with the schools.
One of the things I was most impressed about was that the FAQ also addressed the perception by the students that the outreach was a free period where they didn’t have to learn or behave. Having gone on a number of school outreaches, I am familiar with this situation. The article encourages outreach groups to establish a protocol with the teacher prior to their arrival and also suggests finding a way to engage and involve the teacher in the process so they don’t give the impression it is an opportunity for escape themselves.
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