Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Newsletters: Why Bother?

Builds Up The Boys And Parents Like It Too: The reason I write a newsletter is to keep in contact with the boys in my Sunday School class as well as keep the parents informed. Sometimes I’ll add a personal handwritten note too, thanking them for something specific they did or encouraging them to try to come more regularly or work on their memory passage. I always try to build them up though. What parent doesn't like to hear good things about their son? Every year parents have commented to me that they like reading my newsletter.

Reviews What We've Learned And Done: If you work with children, you might want to consider writing a newsletter for your group and mail it to them once a month like I do for my Sunday School class. I just write about what we’ve been learning, upcoming events and try to mention all their names somehow. I recap the review games we played and congratulate those with perfect attendance for the month, welcome any new ones who came, secret seat winners, and give an update on the scripture challenge standings. Then I throw in some pictures and a “Who Am I?” using clues about one of the boys. I try to keep it to just one page, but this year it’s gone to two since I started adding pictures and cumulative game review statistics.

Brings Some Dropouts Back: I send it to everyone one on my roll, whether they come or not for about the first five months. After that, I quit sending it to those who never came. By doing this though, there have been two boys I know of whose parents quit coming to our church but who came back because the boys read about our class in the newsletter and wanted to come. It makes me feel good when I hear from a parent how much their son likes our class and actually enjoys Sunday School. I try to use a variety methods and activities to keep them and me from getting bored.

Saves Time On Announcements: Although I use this in my Sunday School class, it would probably work well for any kind of kids club or even a sports team. As long as you remember to aim it at the kids, it would be well received I think. Everyone likes to see their name in print when something good is written about them. It also saves class time for teaching instead of making so many announcements.

Not A Chore: I am basically lazy so if this was hard to do, I wouldn't bother with it. It is really not hard at all though because I just do a little bit every week as soon as I get home from church. I update what I can and by the end of the month, it's practically done!

Do any of you work with children’s groups or really any group for that matter? I’d love to hear the kinds of things you do to stay connected and keep them interested. Anyone have any tips for me on what else I could include to make my newsletter better? Do tell!

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Lin said...

I love your newsletter idea, Karen. Wow! You work so hard to keep those kids involved! I am constantly impressed on how much you do for the kids and that is so nice to see.

The Bumbles said...

That's very cool Karen. I like your tip that you work on a little bit after each class where it is fresh on your mind and makes it less of a project overall. What do you use for your newsletter - just Word or an actual template you purchased/downloaded?

Together We Save said...

I love the idea of the newletter... my daughters school teacher uses them. I love it... alway know what is going on.

Kathy said...

I like your idea of trying to mention as many names as possible, even if it's for just a little thing. Everyone likes to be remembered.

I've never done a newsletter as fun as this one. Only boring technical ones for work. Sigh.

Karen said...

Your newsletter is such a good idea! You will never know how you reached people through all your efforts. I'm sure God smiles whenever he sees you writing.

Helene said...

Wow, that's such a great idea! I'm sure others appreciate your effort!

The Silver Age Sara said...

Your newsletter is a great idea and I'm sure it means a lot to the kids and I think it's fantastic you do it. I think mentioning the kids and having pictures of them and guessing games all help to keep them involved and interested.

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