Getting Your Student's Idols to Get Your Message Out! February 16, 2011 8:00 AM | Tagged as school communication, School Webmasters
I get frustrated, as I’m sure many parents and educators do, when our youth idolize celebrities—from movie stars to sports stars to musicians—who may not be the best examples for them (Paris Hilton or Amy Winehouse come to mind). It would be great if these individuals gave our youth something to strive for and a reason to emulate their success. But, far too often they are getting all the attention for their outrageous behavior with few redeeming reasons to justify such notoriety.
But, there are some notable exceptions. I recently read an article about some schools in New York City who are using celebrity to encourage kids to get to school. It’s called WakeUp! NYC and it is hoped that the new campaign will help local schools reduce chronic absenteeism and truancy. They have recruited such high profile names as Magic Johnson, Jose Reyes (of the NY Mets), or Mr. Songz, who simply provide encouraging pre-recorded messages to be used by the schools for students with more than 10 absences in a year. These messages are delivered by phone via the school’s alert system (systems like School Announcement).
All of this is done to drive home the point that every student should be in school every day. From a student perspective, it is a very positive way to use celebrity to encourage the types of behaviors in youth that will help them lead a more successful and productive life. People they admire and idolize are setting excellent examples and using their power to influence in positive ways.
Are there ways you could do this within your own school? Sure! There are a couple of steps that should be easily accomplished with a few choice phone calls:
Put this on your website with an explanation of your campaign and what you hope to accomplish. Be sure to site those great stats that show what a difference a high school diploma means in an individual’s life. It sounds like a great idea to me, so why not put it to work for you school as well!
And, if you know any celebrities willing to record messages for schools across the U.S. to use for free, let us know. We'll make these available to all schools who would like to use them!
Posted in Communication, Public Relations | 2 Replies
Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:30 AM
Yes, and that is something else that I believe they are doing--when attendance improves for those who are struggling to attend, they get a phone call of praise and encouragement. But I love your idea. Why not let kids who have good attendance get a call each quarter. Love it!
Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:08 AM
I like the idea, though I'd much rather see the kids that are attending regularly and receiving improving grades get the phone calls instead of those who have too many absences. If word got around that somebody got a call for having more than 10 absences, some might see if they can get one too. I love the idea of using celebrities, though!
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