The words “back to school” are a faint whisper in students’ ears now, but in a few months, they will be a sharp screech like nails on a blackboard.
For most students, the month of August is a time for preparation. Students from elementary through high school must decide which school supplies they will need in the new year. Buying these essential supplies is a task for anyone, so why not ease the pain on parents and their wallets? It is time for your educational institution to welcome in a new era of supplies for students, show appreciation to parents and create awareness on pressing issues through providing fresh, new products that promote going back to school in 2007.
Although students are the ones who are actually going back to school, parents have a lot to plan for and must prepare for the new school year as well. Parents are just as stressed about the approaching school year as their kids. Parents may not attend class every day or take midterms, but they do shoulder some of the cost of tuition and school and living supplies.
To calm parents and let them know you and your institution understand the stresses they are experiencing, give them memorable gifts at events like “Back to School Night” and new student orientation. These events are not the same boring traditional events where parents walk around the school and end up in the gymnasium to eat stale cookies and drink purple punch. These events are perfect times to reach out to parents with simple gifts.
According to Alan Dessoff in the article “Action Teams” in PTO Today, replacing open houses with more informal functions like barbecues, picnics, and ice cream socials before the school year begins will help parents become better acquainted with their student’s school and the school’s layout.
Another important cause to create awareness for is school violence. At times, school can be a scary place. Violence in schools is something that students have to deal with. To promote school safety and tolerance, hand out megaphones with the slogan, “Talk about your thoughts” or “Voice your opinion” with “Shout out to stop school violence” under the slogan. In the article “How Safe is Your School” in the magazine District Administration, Carol Patton writes about how to better promote school safety. When asked how to deal with school safety, Paul Houston, executive director of AASA, said that “Schools should be a place of some joy and of a sense of openness.” Although these megaphones may not physically be able to protect students, the message on them can encourage students to talk about their differences rather than keep them inside.
Let’s face it. College can stink…literally. After a couple months attending class and having an erratic schedule, students’ dorm rooms, their clothing and at times, the actual student can begin to go a bit bad. For times such as these, why not provide students a care package at the beginning of the school year with health and beauty products, breath mints, gum, other dental hygiene products, and hand sanitizers. Another item that could be added in this pack that would come in handy is flip-flops. It is common knowledge that NO students should brave a high school or junior high locker room or public shower without protection for their feet. Specialized flip-flops with your school’s name and colors will allow all students to walk without worrying about foot safety.
Through providing these products to your institution’s students and parents, you are helping them start off the new school year on the right foot.