Investing in Your Partnering School Teachers and Faculty
Kids Hope USA couldn’t exist without two entities coming together in partnership: a school and a church. Most often, the school principal or superintendent is absolutely thrilled to begin a Kids Hope USA partnership, but we also know that school staff and faculty have a lot on their plate, and are always in need of some extra appreciation.
Not only will the investment of appreciation help make your partnership with the school stronger, it will also help build a relationship between individuals and put your church in a place of forethought when it comes to community partners. How wonderful for the local church to be seen as the place for your local school to go when it is in need of help or encouragement!
Here are three ways that you can build the relationship with the faculty and staff at your partnering school:
1)Offer to gather volunteers for summer projects at the school:
While mentors may not be meeting with their students during the summer, inspire your fellow mentors to get together and choose a weekend morning to help the school with any projects it may have.
Perhaps it’s cleaning the school or helping weed garden beds. Maybe they need a room repainted or some storage areas cleaned out. Whatever the project may be, coming together as a church to help serve your local school is a sure way to invest in them!
2) Provide lunch for teachers and faculty during busy times of the year:
Some programs will simply purchase food that is then set out “catered” style for the school team during busy times like conferences, classroom prep or right before breaks. However, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot in order to create a great meal for some hungry teachers and faculty.
Consider asking your Kids Hope USA program to make a dish to pass in order to make a meal available to teachers. Organize who will bring a main dish, sides, beverages and desserts.
One tip: don’t plan on a formal meal unless all teachers have a special meeting or occasion. Teachers are often in and out of the lunch room during the day, so keeping it flexible helps ensure they know you understand their circumstances!
3) Create “goodie bags” and a note of encouragement to teachers and faculty.
Creating a goodie bag to give to teachers at a random time of the year is a great way to encourage the school, invest in the faculty and sometimes get the attention of the teacher who you may feel is too busy to pay attention to your parternship with them.
Goodie bags can be as simple as some candy in a baggie, or as thought out as some self-care items like chapstick, mints, advil and lotion (think, stressed out teacher!)
If you have the ability and time, consider writing a hand-written note to go along with the present, encouraging and affirming all of the staff’s hard work to help make sure these kids receive the best education they can.
Extra tip: Include secretaries, lunch workers, school nurses, custodians, parapro, principal, etc. – they will really appreciate the love!