For many groups, winter can be a tough time to get hibernating parents to the school for any event—it’s cold outside, and everyone’s in a pizza coma, nestled on the couch in their jammies. Add to that social distancing because of the coronavirus, and they're more willing than before to stay at home. But there’s one topic that’s worth making room for on the calendar—Internet safety.
It’s so important, in fact, that we created a free Family Tech Talk Virtual Event kit to help PTO and PTA leaders host this event. And you don’t even need to be tech-savvy to host one because the kit includes a step-by-step planning guide, promotional materials, parent take-homes, and more. You plan the event, and a representative from Trend Micro will make the presentation and lead the question and answer session. Once you set your event date, here are 12 ideas to help your group motivate parents to attend!
1. Reach parents where they are—on their devices! Explain why they should go in a way that’s relatable, parent to parent. We have a great one you can download right here (just right-click the graphic to download).
2. Ask your principal and media center teacher to take selfies (or take them of your #PTOsquad) with a social media prop. Share these on your school’s Facebook page ahead of your event to show parents it’s an important topic that everyone at your school is vested in.
3. Have babysitting available if your guidelines allow in-person events. Go on and work that PTO magic—ask a few middle schoolers to volunteer and have fun activities set up for the kids.
Photo credit: Kikovic/Thinkstock
4. Serve food and drinks. Offer munchies like “Insta-grams” and emoji crispy treats, or do a full-on ice cream “social.”
5. Try a new time, like 9 a.m., when parents are already at school for drop-off and don’t have to worry about child care. Don’t forget the doughnuts and coffee!
via Torriano School
6. Create a “PTO punch card” for parents and make significant events, like your Internet safety session, worth two punches. If they “punch” (attend) all events by the end of the year, they’ll be entered to win a prize.
7. Invite a “panel” of middle or high school students to talk about their own online experiences. Hearing it firsthand from other kids can help make your talking points real for parents.
Photo credit: Pavel Losevsky/Thinkstock
8. Make the topic a priority in your group’s ongoing communications. In your newsletter, have a dedicated spot to talk about what your school is doing around Internet safety.
9. If there are any local celebrities at your school, like media personalities or sports players, see whether they can help your cause by attending (be sure to mention it when you promote your event).
10. Put together a fun technology-theme door prize! Get local businesses to donate tech accessories (or even a tablet, if they're feeling generous!). Wrap it all up with a timer (to limit screen time, of course).
Photo credit: NatashaPhoto/Thinkstock
11. Team up with other local schools to host a bigger event. Parents might be more apt to attend if lots of folks in the community are talking about it.
Photo credit: AlexBrylov/Thinkstock
12. Add your Internet safety presentation to the end of another parent-attended event, like your monthly PTO meeting. Explain that it’s 30 minutes worth staying for!
Download your free Family Tech Talk Virtual Event kit to start planning your event!
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