By: Max Grossman
It has been over a year since Kristen, Meghan, and I wrote the Public Service Grant Commission proposal for the Family Night at Perry School. Since that time we have organized six Family Night events – each filled with highlights, challenges, and lessons.
I think the key takeaway we learned is to be patient and willing to re-evaluate how we go about achieving our goals. For example, a key component to the project was parent and caretaker attendance. Attendance proved to be consistently inconsistent – a handful of parents attended month to month, however others, despite many reminders and handed out flyers, did not. There also was a persistent issue of parents arriving late (which we soon realized was a scheduling blip on our end, and adjusted the event timing accordingly).
I remember emailing De Nichols, our CGIU mentor, about this issue 3 months into the program. In addition to some general promotional suggestions, she hit us with a massive insight – embrace the intimacy of each event. This was very powerful. It both helped inform how to craft smaller group activities so to make events more personal and meaningful for participants. It also helped build connections with key parents and caretakers who’s answers to questions about scheduling and activities improved people’s receptiveness to events over the project’s six months.
The family night team will continue to play role in facilitating the events, however thanks to last years experience and increased capacity, Little Friends for Peace is now able to take on a larger role in the pre-event planning process. In fact, just last week they hosted a very special Halloween Family night!
For a detailed report of last year’s family nights here!