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Topic: Educational Programs

  1. 5 School Assembly Planning Tips

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    school assembly planningYou may be the Principal, Counselor, PTA President or a Community Leader who wants their students to hear a powerful message. You’ve been assigned the duty of planning a school assembly during this calendar year and you don’t know where to start.

    Here are 5 school assembly planning tips to help you get started:

    1. Choose your topic. Every school assembly will have a thought out theme that the school can rally around. Some known topics include: Drug Abuse, Bullying Prevention, Cyber Safety, Wise Choices or Staying Motivated. Be sure to have students involved in activities leading up to the assembly and after the assembly that reflect the message of the gathering.

    2. Create a budget. Know what you have to work with before you begin planning. Like any gathering, it’s going to cost money to pull off a school assembly. PTA & PTO groups know this is true because from day one they are fundraising for student activities. Most schools combine money from different accounts to pull off an unforgettable assembly for their students.

    3. Choose a date/time/venue. Look at the calendar and book early. Most speakers and entertainers are booked 1-3 months in advance. Set a couple dates that are convenient for the school and continue planning. Morning times work best because students can have time to debrief the message as to having a show at the end of the day and students leaving right when the assembly is over. Be sure to have a venue in mind that will allow the entire student body to sit comfortably or else you may have to pay a little more for an additional assembly. Auditoriums are best for speakers and gymnasiums are perfect for entertainers such as a BMX Freestyle Team.

    4. Hire a speaker. I know that you have a cousin that is funny and he can speak to your students during his lunch break but remember that your reputation is on the line. This is especially crucial if your school wants a prevention message. Hire an anti-bullying speaker with prevention experience that knows how to sustain a young audience for at least an hour. Shouldn’t your students get the best that their school can provide? Tap into the community if your school has zero budget and see if a local business or non-profit can sponsor an event.

    5. Invite parents and community. Always keep parents in the loop when you invite an external person/group that is going to influence their kid. Host a parent night the evening of the school assembly to increase parent participation. Students will go home and talk about the fun school assembly and will likely tell their parents or guardian to attend the night session. Tip: food will get more parents to attend so have a restaurant sponsor/cater the evening meal.

    These five tips will help you in your school assembly planning efforts. Our team has worked with numerous school districts across the nation and would love to work with anyone who is working to plan a school assembly. Contact Us about your next assembly.

  2. Student Activity Funds | School Accounts

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    Student activity funds are to be used by schools to purchase products or programs that directly benefit the students.

    A school assembly is a good example of when a student activity fund is used to pay for a program. Programs are to contribute to the educational experience of what the school is trying to accomplish.

    If the school is being proactive about bullying for example, then funds can be used to purchase items or programs that educate students about ways to prevention bullying on campus. If a local high school is dealing with students getting caught with an illegal substance, then the school may use their student activity fund to hire a motivational speaker to address drug abuse in a school assembly setting.

    How to start a student activity fund at school?
    Funds are usually raised throughout the year by the faculty, staff, parents and students of the school. Schools will allow students to engage in fundraising events throughout the year. Hosting a car wash, selling BBQ plates or candy are all methods of raising money. Having all families eat at a local restaurant is a newer way to raise money for a school. Money from the fundraisers are then put into a student activity account within the normal school budget.

    Sometimes, if the PTA membership is big enough, they will replenish or add money for the fund so the school can purchase products or programming. Check with your local school to see if they have a student activity fund and looking for ways to use those funds to add educational value to the entire student body.

    student activity funds

  3. Title I Funds | Professional Development Speakers

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    Title I funds can be used to pay for community school events. Title I schools have federal funding to help increase academic levels. The main purpose of the funding is to help children from low-achieving area increase their scores to meet state standards. Hosting a school assembly can be done by hiring outside staff to instruct teachers and students about a certain topic like: Drug prevention, bully prevention and academic success.

    By having a parent night in addition to a school assembly, not only can students learn but the parents can be on the same page with their children. It’s mandatory in some states to have professional development events throughout the year and Title I funds can be used to pay to hire outside speakers.

  4. PTA | Parent Teacher Association Members

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    Parent Teacher AssociationAfter speaking at a middle school in San Antonio, I asked the Principal how they found me and she mentioned to me that the Parent Teacher Association® (PTA) was in charge of bringing me in. They raised the funds and used some of their own to have me speak to their children about school bullying and how to respond to bullies.

    I was truly honored when I found out that the PTA paid for the assemblies. In my mind I think of ladies having bake sales to raise money but it’s definately different. These are men and women who take the time to be a part of their child’s education by getting involved at their school. They spend hours attending meetings and building relationships with other parents in their community. They pay dues be members and they research programs that can be useful for their students. They network with other PTA members from nearby schools.

    I cannot say enough how impressed I am by this Association. From what I read the number of members are slowly decreasing but still those who are members are carrying the torch for their kids.

    As you can see from the image above, the middle school thanked the PTA on their school sign.

  5. Blue Ribbon Schools Program | Achievement Gap | Education Speaker

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    Has your school received the Blue Ribbon award that is awarded by the U.S. Government?

    Blue Ribbon Schools ProgramIf so, now is the time to celebrate. As you may know, the Blue Ribbon award is given to the elite schools across the country and is considered to be the highest honor that a school in America can achieve.

    For this reason, there is a lot of criteria that a school must abide by in order to get recognized. Basically a school does a self assessment and then it creates a strategic plan to improve. This takes the school administration and the community working together to fill the educational achievement gap that was exposed in the self-evaluation.

    Schools are to keep the U.S. Department of Education updated on its progress all through the application process. At the end after a review panel makes their recommendations, the U.S. Secretary of Education announces the schools selected to attain the blue ribbon award.

    Schools who have won the award consistently every five years are considered the best in the nation. Schools that hold this award have changed the communities in which they reside. Even the housing market around the awarded institution increases with many families wanting their children to attend a blue ribbon school.

    Since this award comes every five years, why not celebrate by having a pep rally or by hiring an educated youth motivational speaker to come in and get your school excited about reducing the achievement gap. Maybe you have applied and need that little extra push to get all your students on board so they exactly what’s at stake. Some students need a little motivation to keep them on track.

    If your school has entered the blue ribbon program and would like to partner with us in hosting school assemblies, please get in contact with us for more information on our education speaker services.

    Learn more about this goverment program here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html

  6. Educational Funding Grants | Title VI | School District Budget

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    Are you a dedicated and resourceful teacher trying to find some much needed money to bring new innovative ideas and programs for your classroom? Do you feel if you only had more funds you could really make a huge difference in the education of your students and maybe touch them at a deeper and more level? Do you have ideas that you know can make an impact on your students?

    Thankfully you found this site, because we are here to help guide you in changing the lives of your students. In fact, that is what we are dedicated to, changing lives and making an impact.

    There are many resources to help you financially accomplish your goals. Some are easier to obtain than others, so lets start with the easiest way. The very first thing you should do is contact your school administration and see if they received educational funding grants.

    Many teachers turn to their local Associated Student Body fund to get the money that they need, but that can sometimes dry up too quickly leaving many teachers desperate without much needed resources. So where can you realistically turn after that to get the help you need?

    You would be surprised how often this grant gets overlooked. Did you know that every September the federal government gives money to school districts in the form of Title VI funding and you can get some of it for your own unique teacher in-service programs to help you in the classroom?

    Don’t worry it isn’t too difficult to get either. In order to apply, you simply need to write up a small proposal of what you will do with the grant money and submit it to your district office before the deadline. (Most district deadlines are in August.)

    As long as you meet the requirements for the district funding you will be able to use that money to help inspire and educate your students in the best way possible.

    If you are unsure about how to write up your grant proposal, many school districts offer classes or workshops to help you in the process. Many teachers have expressed that Title VI grants were a lot less difficult and significantly less competitive to obtain than they thought it would be.

    You have great ideas and you have a vision for your students. Don’t let finances keep you from turning it into a reality. If you are in need of some additional ideas for projects to add to your grant proposal, consider bringing Fabian Ramirez into your classroom and allowing him to connect with your students. He also speaks at school assemblies across the nation. Check to see if your school has received educational grants and if so, use that funding to have an assembly.