Storytelling: Engaging Family and Community

There’s always a way to take what is happening in the classroom and make it a great story. (Left to right) Kelsey Giesler, Communications Coordinator, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center; Patrick Gallaway, Communications Director, New Albany Plain Local Schools; and Erika Daggett, Chief Information Officer, Sycamore Community Schools, encourage educators to share their stories.

Presenters: Erika Daggett, Chief Information Officer, Sycamore Community Schools; Kelsey Giesler, Communications Coordinator, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center; Patrick Gallaway, Communications Director, New Albany Plain Local Schools

Summary:  Educators are crucial conduits to a district’s communications department and, with their students, author compelling stories each day. Through multiple tools and vehicles, educators should be “proud out loud” and work with their district’s communications professional to share these success stories to maintain an informed constituency.

Maximize your story and think big. Reality shows, talk shows and national news organizations are fair game as news outlets to which stories can be pitched. A story from New Albany Plain Local Schools which highlighted a student-developed robot in a drama production was featured in The New York Times. Cable television shows“Restaurant: Impossible” and “House Hunters” shared information about the strength of programs in Sycamore Community Schools.

Social Media is a free medium to share stories. Ohio Hi-Point Career Center has a dedicated blog for select students to share their educational journey. Working with the communications coordinator, they post bi-weekly blog entries, photos and videos. Further, the fact that they are telling their own story becomes a dynamic story itself.

For districts using social media, it is important to regularly listen, engage and post content – even during the summer months.  Sycamore Schools engage their Facebook audience with a “Guess Where?”photo contest. After followers submit their guess as to where a particular photo was taken, an explanation is posted which explains its connection to advancing student achievement. Ohio Hi-Point connects with students and families using a “Study Tip”hashtag on Twitter, along with tweets to local and national trade organizations.

More on this Session: Download Presentation

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