Effective family engagement events require a lot of time, effort, and organization. To ensure that you don't forget anything or have a last-minute panic attack ("How did this room get so messy?"), it's important for you to make an appropriate strategy plan for each event. A planning schedule is a great way to outline what you need to do in the days leading up to your family engagement event and will also help you finish all of your to-do items in a timely manner.
To help make planning your family engagement event a little easier, we've provided a planning schedule based off a sample one in Partnering with Parents for your convenience. Remember the type of family engagement event and your specific needs may alter your planning schedule, but the basic planning schedule below is a great place to start!
Basic Planning Schedule for Your Family Engagement Event
One month before your family engagement event:
- Choose a topic, theme, and/or activity that fits program and family needs.
- Pick a date and time that works for you and the families of the children in your care.
- Reserve a room or outdoor space if the event is not being held in your classroom.
- Contact people who can assist you with the event (coworkers, volunteers, speakers).
Two weeks before your family engagement event:
- Send out invitations that list the time, date, location, theme, and any other important information families may need to know about the event.
- Arrange for transportation and child care for the event if needed.
- List all the supplies you need for the event and begin to gather them.
- Reaffirm the date, time, and location of the event with families and the people involved.
One week before your family engagement event:
- Make copies of any documents, activity sheets, or handouts needed for the event.
- Prepare blank nametags for the event or write people's names on them if you already know who will be attending.
- Organize supplies to save time the day of the event. Go ahead and fill bags or folders with handouts and supplies for families to take home or use at activity stations.
Three days before your family engagement event:
- Send out reminders for the event.
One day before your family engagement event:
- Make reminder calls or send emails to families and people helping with the event.
- Check with custodian to arrange for extra chairs and tables if needed.
- Buy or make refreshments for the event.
Day of your family engagement event:
- Ask children to remind their families about the event.
- Clean and arrange the room as needed; set up each station and activity.
- Make sure you have all the necessary supplies and materials.
- Prepare the refreshments for the event.
- Ensure that the people helping you have everything they need and know their role in making the event a success.
- Be sure you are at the event before families start arriving. Greet everyone with a smile!