After taking a team of 6 to the LERN conference in 2010 in Chicago, our department knew that we had to do something special for our summer youth programs brochure. Roseville Area Schools, Community Education Department has struggled to maintain and grow a viable youth enrichment program. We have started to combine efforts with other parts of our department and district out-of- school time programs to partner and leverage expanded opportunities.
Our district families have also been looking for a 'one stop shopping' experience, having all summer program opportunities in one publication so they don't have to look at multiple documents.
Staff knew that our brochure wasn't as visually appealing as they would like, and wanted to create something creative, fun, exciting and unique that would appeal, not only to the parents, but the kids as well.
The Out-of-School time staff team met and brainstormed what they wanted this to look like. The idea evolved into the document that we are submitting for nomination.
'Plug In To Summer".
Using technology as our vision, staff started to conceptualize what would appeal to kids and families. Staff agreed upon using the smart phone/I-Phone as the concept. As more and more kids and adults use these tools, we felt that it would resonate and appeal to a broad audience of young people and young parents. Visually it would attract them and them hopefully draw them in.
The 'apps' on the cover each represented one of the summer programs. The 'apps' inside the front cover represented activities within those program areas. Staff hoped that it would be somewhat intuitive for our families to follow the apps across the pages to find the activities they were looking for. We were so immersed in the online concept that staff forgot to put in our mailing address for those folks who might want to mail in their registration!!
I would say we were very successful in our efforts. In comparing our summer enrollment data from summer of 2010 to summer of 2011, our revenue grew by 34.4% and the number of classes that 'ran' over the summer increased by 55%!
2010 revenue was $31,113 and summer 2011 revenue was $42,150.
2010 classes that ran were 88 and summer 2011 classes that ran were 146.
The increased visibility and identification of the summer programs was a big benefit. People working within our own district would say, You're the 'Plug In ' folks! The staff received LOTS of favorable comments from district staff, families, kids and even had requests from other districts for our outlines. Our community easily identified the programs and the publication with Community Education.
Since there are many programs running at the same time in our school district, we wanted a way to catch families when they first walked in the door. Staff set up communication boards at the entrances to direct families to the right location and program. For our summer enrichment programs, all staff needed to do was post the cover of the brochure, and families knew immediately that they were in the right spot and zeroed in on that visual to find their class/activity.
To respond to parent requests for the 'one stop shopping' idea, staff created a tool in the center of the brochure that highlighted all the district programs happening over the summer. This way families could see how they could partner activities together, dates they ran, locations etc. Feedback on this was wonderful. Parents loved it!
Its hard to pick out one piece of the publication as exemplary. The center section showing all the offerings in one spot, clearly met a community need however the concept and visual of the smart phone for us, was the most defining feature of this. It was current, trendy, youthful and very visually appealing.
Overall we were extremely pleased by the results and are already looking forward to next summer.