I would, though, like to make an effort to let parents know when their child does something fantastic, even if I only get to know that student during a two-week project. Although I haven't made an effort to do so in the past, it's great publicity for the library and way to build a base of parent advocates.
I just needed a way to share the good news with parents. I could make a phone call, but I'm not super comfortable talking on the phone, so I searched for an alternative strategy. Here was my criteria for a communication medium:
I ended up selecting an app called Postagram. Postagram allows you to send a picture postcard through the US postal service to any address for $1.00. The card features a photograph and a 180 character message. The photograph is perforated and can be punched out to display (perfect for hanging on the fridge).
|Above: A Postagram card - your custom photo goes in the white square. Image source.|
Postagram allows me to take a photograph of the child using my iPhone, and then add a short, personalized message about the student to the card. I type in the parents' mailing address, and a week later, it shows up in their mailbox. For me, the $1.00 cost to send a card is totally worth the convenience and customization available through Postagram. Before my maternity leave started, my goal was one postcard a week. It was relatively easy to stick to, and I've gotten some really positive feedback from parents.
I originally struggled with what to send home as "good news," but I've found that it's easy to identify these kinds of students, even if I don't get know them extremely well during the course of a two-week project:
- Students who are especially kind or supportive to other group members
- Students who manage to focus and buckle down, even though they're typically easily distracted
- Students who ask great questions
- Students who go above and beyond the project goals
- Students who persevere and maintain a positive attitude even when the going gets rough
Do you have any suggestions for sending home good news? What medium do you use?