Hello everyone, Marie here! The following post is written by Guest Blogger Daniela from CreditDonkey on how to promote your after school club. Thinking of starting an after school club or already have and want to publicize it? Check out Daniela’s ideas below.

After school clubs are a lot like after school programs, but tend to be more short-term, often around 4 to 6 weeks, and are usually centered around fun themes. They help kids make friends, enjoy themselves, and stay out of trouble.

According to Safe and Smart: Making After-School Hours Work for Kids, a publication of the U.S. Department of Education, kids involved in supervised after school activities benefit in many ways. Supervised after school groups help reduce the juvenile crime rate, decrease the number of kids who smoke or take part in other risky behaviors, and cut back on the number of hours kids spend watching TV.

The Department of Education has also found that after school activities boost children’s self-confidence, grades, and social skills.

With all of these benefits, there are plenty of reasons to start an after school club in your area. But how can you promote the club in a way that draws in both kids and parents? These 5 strategies should help make your club the most popular after school hangout.

1) Talk to the school principal first.

Start by talking to the principal of the school you want to promote to. Let them know the basics, like the theme of the club, the level of supervision you will provide, and the kinds of activities you will offer.

The principal might be able to help you promote your club. Many schools send home weekly newsletters, along with class announcements. Ask if you can make a club flyer and have it sent home with the newsletter or announcements. They may even let you come in and talk about your club for a few minutes before class.

2) Network with parents you know.

If you have a child who goes to the school you want to promote to, you probably already know some of the parents. Ask if their children would like to come to a club meeting. If they have responsible high school aged children, ask if their teens would want to help run the club. Of course, you should also find out if the parents want to help run the club.

3) Design fun and informative flyers.

If all has gone well so far, the principal should be OK with you sending home flyers through the school and you should have a few parents or neighborhood teenagers willing to help. Now, you need to make flyers kids will actually hold on to.

You may want to print double-sided flyers. One side could have a fun activity for the youngsters and the other could have a few paragraphs explaining the club to parents.

The kids’ side could be a coloring page or connect-the-dots shape relating to the club theme, or a maze with the name of the club in the middle. If you aren’t great at drawing, don’t worry. You can find free, printable coloring pages, connect-the-dots shapes, and mazes online to use as templates.

The parents’ side should have the same information you gave the principal. It should also have an invitation to come to club meetings or help run them. Don’t forget your phone number and e-mail for parents that want to get in touch first.

4) Stand outside of the school, tape flyers to balloons, and pass them out to kids as they head home.

This fun idea was inspired by the executive director of Crossroads Kids Club, Matt Armstrong. His blog points out that kids love balloons, so passing them out will grab their attention!

But again, check with the principal before trying this. Children with latex allergies can have very bad reactions to rubber balloons. Many schools have been sued by parents looking to ban latex balloons. Many more schools have chosen to ban these balloons themselves. If you want to be on the safe side, use Mylar-style balloons instead.

Buying a lot of these foil balloons will be harder on your credit card, but allergies won’t be an issue. You can also buy mini-packs of crayons, which usually have 3 or 4 in each package, and tie them to the end of each balloon. Kids will be able to color on the flyer, and it will stop the balloon from floating away, at least until they get the crayons off!

5) Pick up a copy of the school directory and send a flyer to each household.

Again, having a fun and catchy flyer helps, but since parents usually open the mail, you can market these more toward grown-ups. You may want to list some of the benefits of joining an after school club.

If the school directory includes the name of the child and parents, add a personal touch by using these names instead of a one-size-fits-all greeting.

Remember, you’re selling the idea to both grown-ups and kids, so the club has to sound safe and fun. Parents will like the benefits that after school activities offer to their kids, while kids will want to have a good time. Gain the trust of the principal and parents while exciting the younger ones with creative ads. Promoting the club might be just as much fun as running it!

About the Author: Daniela is a social media advocate at the personal finance blog, CreditDonkey.  She’s also a mother of two and hopes this post will help inspire you to promote your after school club.  Have you tried promoting your after school club? Leave a comment below with your tips and first-hand experience.

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