Summer is a great time to work on parent involvement, but it’s important to avoid the hard sell or specific requests for volunteers. Instead, let parents know about your group and its fun activities, as well as the resources you can offer them.
Here are a few soft-sell tips:
Playground play dates
Host a get-together at a local playground. Send email invites to parents you know and ask them to forward the invite to their friends. Keep it casual. While the kids have fun, introduce yourself to new parents and check in with those you know. Share information about what your group did last year. And if you can, gather up emails while you’re there.
Minimal email contact
Send out one or two email updates during the summer. Go easy here. What you want to avoid is blasting people with emails during their down time. That’s a turnoff. Instead, update parents if there is news. For example, let parents know if you get the go-ahead from the principal on a fall carnival date or if there are changes to your meeting schedule for the year.
Take advantage when opportunity knocks. If you see a parent at the grocery store, mall, or beach, introduce yourself. Don’t ask her to volunteer unless she asks about opportunities to do so. Instead, let her know you are looking forward to seeing her next year. You’ll be a friendly face she remembers.
And check out these articles to help build involvement for when the school year starts:
Originally posted in 2014 and updated regularly.