What Can You Do to Support Your School?
We wrote recently about our mission and how it has evolved over the (many) years we’ve been in business. In that article, we mentioned that one of the ways we support schools is by sharing a portion of the proceeds back to our partner schools. But it got us thinking: what are the non-monetary things people can do to support their school. It takes more than money to make a great school; it takes a willing, active community. In some of our meetings, we’ve been informally asking our customers what they need from their community. Here are three things we really liked.
Anthony Bourdain once said about his daughter and the many extracurricular activities kids do these days “I don’t care what she does as long as she loves it.” With the many activities schools offer, you can find a lot to love. And it is so important for your school to have active members of the school community. Play a few sports, join clubs, start clubs, and if you’re a parent, go to PTA meetings, attend your kids’ games, and volunteer your time to chaperone or coach. Schools with active communities feel different. They feel alive, they feel welcoming, they feel purposeful. But it takes a concerted effort and dedication to make sure your school feels that way.
Live Your School’s Mission
Have you ever taken a look at the first page of your student handbook and thought about the mission of your school? It’s a pretty great way to see what your community wants from your school. To take a local-to-us example, here’s Mount St. Joseph’s Academy’s mission:
Mount Saint Joseph Academy, a college preparatory school, empowers young women to realize their fullest potential. Imbued with a spirit of unity and reconciliation, the charism of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Mount Saint Joseph Academy fosters excellence tempered by gentleness and compassion.
“Realize their fullest potential,” “unity and reconciliation,” “excellence tempered by gentleness and compassion.” These are great ways to live a full, positive life. How do you live the mission your community has set out for your school? Try as hard as you can. Pick each other up rather than putting each other down. Realize that you along with your community members need each other. Living well together in school best prepares you to live well together out in the world.
Let Your Teachers Know They Matter
One of our partner schools raved about their teachers but knew how hard being a teacher really is and how isolating it can be. It’s a job only for the dedicated, but it’s often boiled down to ‘must be nice to only work 10 months per year.’ This school mentioned that one of the ways that you can support the school is to make sure good, caring teachers want to stay at the school. Supporting your teacher comes in many forms: if you’re a parent, volunteer to chip-in when school supplies are running low and let them know that you appreciate their partnering with you to figure out what’s best for your child. If you’re a student, write a reverse recommendation of an exceptional teacher in your life or simply tell them you like the class. Little things. Big things. They add up.
Happy Holidays from Flynn O’Hara!
We really appreciate your being with us this year. We really love what we do, and one of the biggest reasons why is being able to work with so many people from so many different backgrounds to make their schools safer, more inclusive, and, shall we say, a little bit more fashionable? We’ve reached the end of the calendar year, but we have plenty in store for 2019. Stay tuned, and enjoy the winter holiday!