AfterWords: April 2008
AfterWords
April 2008
U.S. Department of Education: Technical Assistance and Professional Development for
21st Century Community Learning Centers
a newsletter of the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning : Afterschool News

Tell It Like It Is: Afterschool Communication Tools

Sharing success stories is important because stakeholders and government leaders need to know about the impact afterschool programs are having on the youth and communities we serve. The difficulty lies in how to effectively communicate when practitioners are already overwhelmed with day-to-day operational tasks. Publications are commonly used by afterschool programs to help communicate to various constituents. Common forms of communication include newsletters, e-newsletters, blogs, and magazines. Defining the publication (what kind, how long, and how often) is a first step. Once decided, two things can help you keep up with the communication task: a template and a content list.

A template is basically a map of your publication that lays out exactly where such items as logos, contact information, articles, and illustrations will be placed. Your organization may have guidelines they want you to follow. It is typically the communications department within an organization that has such information. You can also find template ideas from Microsoft Office or from TemplatesBox if you are interested in creating a Web site or e-newsletter.

A content list is a general list of subjects, based on the interests of your target audience (parents, day-school teachers, community members, potential donors, etc.), your communication will cover each time you publish it. Examples include recognition (student, staff, volunteer), announcements, activity highlights—the possibilities are nearly endless. When you work on your afterschool publication, the content list will provide a series of prompts rather than a blank page staring back at you. Working from a template and a content list is so much easier than starting from scratch.

What is the National Partnership of Quality Afterschool Learning?

Sharing success stories is important because stakeholders and government leaders need to know about the impact afterschool programs are having on the youth and communities we serve.

Recommended Resource
 
Stories from the field

School sites have dedicated bulletin boards for site coordinators to share important information, post photos, announce events and demonstrate the programs´┐Ż philosophy of 'fun learning.' Photo by Cumberland Empowerment Zone

The Cumberland Empowerment Zone
Cumberland County, New Jersey

In Cumberland County, New Jersey, 21st Century Community Learning Center site coordinators know how important it is to build relationships with day-school staff. Communication is at the center of those relationship-building efforts through activities like visiting teachers before the school day begins, speaking with office staff, and offering opportunities for staff to become involved in their programs’ special events. School sites have dedicated bulletin boards for site coordinators to share important information, post photos, announce events, and demonstrate the programs’ philosophy of “fun learning.” Many sites use newsletters to keep parents, community members, and schools informed about events and activities.

Community visibility is a high priority for these programs, so education programs director Cynthia Angelo encourages programs to seek press coverage of their activities and use the brochure they have developed to highlight their programs. The Cumberland Empowerment Zone also maintains a Web site to maintain lines of communication.

 

In Your Words Announcement Events Calendar

To participate in this survey and view results, submit your vote now.

How do you communicate about your afterschool program? (Select all that apply.)

Communicating About Your Afterschool Program
Would you like to learn more about newsletters and other ways to communicate about your afterschool program? The National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning is offering a free Webinar, “Communicating About Your Afterschool Program.” The Webinar will take place on Tuesday, May 13, at 1 p.m. central time. Register online.

May
1–2

PEAK Afterschool Workshop Series: Math and Science
Denver, CO

May 13

Webinar: Communicating About Your Afterschool Program
1 p.m. CST

July 15–17

21st Century Community Learning Center Summer Institute
Dallas, TX

For more events, visit our calendar.

Produced for the U.S. Department of Education by the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning housed at SEDL

 

This email was sent by:
Laura Shankland
E-mail: afterwords@sedl.org

Editor: Laura Shankland
Contributor: Wendy Jones
Designer: Shaila Abdullah

This newsletter was produced in whole or in part with funds from the U.S. Department of Education under contract number
ED-03-CO-0048.

You are welcome to reproduce issues of AfterWords and distribute copies at no cost to recipients. Please credit SEDL as publisher. Link to PDF versions of AfterWords is available here. For additional uses, please fill out and submit a copyright request form.

Copyright © 2008 by SEDL.

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