1. Plant Seeds. Include some of the parent handouts whenever you do a mailing.
2. Invite parents to plan the program. Parents can help schedule the program, develop the advertising and choose the handouts. They are your best communication network.
3. Schedule the BEST time to have the program. You will have a better turnout if you can piggy-back the program onto an already scheduled meeting or pick a time the parents are already bringing their child to school or a religious education program.
4. Get children involved. Tell them a nurse is coming help parents answer the students' questions about ..how their bodies will change, etc. Use the tips for "Collecting Students' Questions."
5. Reward students whose parents attend. A pass for a "tag day" without their uniform or free ice-cream or donuts. The class with the best parent attendance can win an afternoon without class to play games, a pizza party or a raffle for prizes.
6. Get teachers involved. Getting parents to attend can be the homework assignment. To free up the parents, don't schedule homework the night of the program or a test the next day.
7. Motivate parents to attend. The best motivator is to give parents a list of the questions and concerns from their child's class. The reality of what their child is exposed to each day can be a great catalyst.
8. Provide babysitting. Give volunteer baby sitters Confirmation service-hours for watching the younger children.
9. Parent Service Hours? If your school has required Parent Service Hours, credit the program time towards the parents' required hours.
10. Phone Power. Call and ask parents to attend. G ive room mothers a script and ask them to call the week before the program.
11. For those who cannot attend . Make an audio-tape of the program and have copies of the tape and the handouts available in the church/school office.
12. Continue the Conversation . Evaluate the program and determine what additional information parents want.
Mary Lee O'Connell, CRNP - 8/04