Adult Education Week—April 9-13, 2018

Adult Education Week is a good time to build awareness of your programs within the community. Ask your mayor, city council or county board of supervisors to declare one day during the week as ”Adult and Continuing Education Day.” Plan events for the week and let your local media know about them. Schedule an open house, create in-school displays and bulletin boards that focus on your school’s programs and achievements, hang a banner, honor your students, recognize teachers. It’s a week to tell the community where you are and what you do. 


How To Promote Adult Education Week

The files on this page are designed to assist in publicizing your own Adult Education Week events. These are suggested formats and can certainly be improved and enhanced; all will have to be edited to conform to your school’s activities and specific programs:

  • Planning for Adult Ed Week—Guidelines for organizing AEW at your school, including 19 ways to promote it.
  • Press Release #1—This generic press release pre-supposes your school will focus its AEW activities on career-related programs. It can be amended, however, to fit with any program. Send two releases; one to arrive at 10 days before the start of AEW and the second to arrive one or two days prior to the open house.
  • Dealing with the Media—Self explanatory.
  • New Release Tips—Do's and Don't of writing press releases.
  • Sample Public Service Announcements —“Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Workforce”. Send on school letterhead, all (15 sec. & 30 sec.) in the same envelope but on separate sheets. A cover letter with information about your school’s services will help. These should be sent to radio, TV and Cable public affairs directors 3 to 6 weeks before the event.
  • Press Release #2—You should also send out a press release if your school chooses to honor a person or group during the week. This one should arrive just before or at the start of Adult Ed. Week. A follow-up phone call will improve your chances for success with any press release.
  • Mayoral Proclamation Language (Generic)—If you haven’t already contacted your mayor’s office (and/or county board of supervisors) do so now.
  • Electronic Promotion—Create a page on your school’s website (and your district’s) that displays the events and activities at your school during Adult Education Week. Send emails to current and former students announcing Adult Ed Week and inviting them to appropriate activities. Use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Planning for Adult Education Week

The purpose of Adult Education Week in California is to draw the attention of the public and of education decision-makers — legislators, school board members, your superintendent, city officials, etc. — to the programs at your school that benefit the community. The idea is to enhance your school’s credibility and publicly demonstrate its value. All of which will require promotion and media support.

If you haven’t already, we suggest you appoint an Adult Education Week coordinator for your school. CSCAE is available at 541-601-3097 to answer questions you or your coordinator may have.

Activities:
Adult Ed Week is five days, Monday through Friday. You may want to have an event each day, even if it’s just a short ceremony that honors worthy students and teachers. In past years, schools have used the week to have an open house and to honor teachers and students in a variety of categories. Given this year’s theme it seems appropriate to recognize students and teachers involved in career related programs. At an end-of-the-week open house, invite former teachers and students, potential new students, local educational decision makers and members of the press to tour the school.

Here are some ideas for promoting and publicizing Adult Ed. Week:

19 Ways to Promote Adult Ed Week at Your School

  1. If you haven’t already done so, appoint an Adult Education Week coordinator for your school. That person should have your support and the support of all administrators and program coordinators.
  2. Prepare a packet of materials for distribution to the press and local educational decision makers (elected officials, school board members, district officials and throughout the community). Highlight your school’s career related programs including basic skills classes, high school diploma, and specific job training courses. 
  3. To get publicity you need Adult Education Week activities. A half-day job fair involving local hirers and/or an open house are logical and effective though labor-intensive. An easier alternative might be to simply schedule a brief ceremony to honor your “Student of the Year” or “Teacher of the Year.” Be sure to give the honorees plaques and/or certificates.
  4. Ask a local VIP (Mayor, legislator, school board person, etc.) to present a certificate and/or plaque to the teachers and students you are honoring during AEW.
  5. A proclamation by the mayor, city council or school board is almost a sure thing if you ask early enough and are willing to write it. See the Civic Proclamation language presented in this packet.
  6. Invite the following to your AEW activities: mayor, city council, county supervisors, congressmen, state legislators, school board members, the superintendent, community advisory boards and anyone else who can help your program. (AEW is a good time also to entertain and recognize members of your community advisory board.)
  7. Invite the press to your school during AEW. If they can’t make it, how about offering to visit them? Offer to drop by with a teacher and a student or two to talk about what’s going on at your school, and why it’s important for them to inform the community. Don’t try to tell the whole adult school story; zero in on one topic: your career-related programs, high school diploma instruction,
    basic reading, writing and math skills, etc. Give them the story you want told. 
  8. Contact press and broadcast public affairs people now to tell them what you have planned for the week. Before you call have an idea for a feature story: a student success story, an internship program, a teacher that’s making a difference. Present enough information to interest your target.
  9. Send press releases — via email and regular mail — not only to the press, but to school board members, the local chamber of commerce, business & industry, house organs, and trade publications.
  10. Be sure to email the calendar editor of your local paper about any special AEW activities at your school.
  11. Adult Education Week is an appropriate time to write a letter or email the editor of your local newspaper telling of the tuition-free (and low tuition) services your school provides the community. Over the years many adult schools have had such letters published.
  12. Many radio and TV stations offer “free speech” messages. Contact the public affairs directors of local stations.
  13. Some schools prepare an AEW information packet for placement in libraries, secondary schools, school-related agencies, local grocery and convenience stores and other key locations. Include your school’s list of classes and programs.
  14. Phone radio and TV stations and offer to provide guests for their public service shows during AEW. It helps to be familiar with the content of the shows when speaking with those who produce them.
  15. Schools have good results with outdoor banners proclaiming AEW. Display the banners across the main entrance, on a sidewall, fence or wherever they are best seen. You might check the city sign ordinance first, however.
  16. Design and print “Adult Education Week” posters and then place them throughout your school and the community.
  17. Make sure your school’s — and your district’s — website features Adult Education Week and its theme. Display a banner on the front page of both sites with a link to a list of activities at your school during the week.
  18. Send an email “blast” to all current and former students announcing Adult Ed Week and inviting them to appropriate activities. If you don’t know how to send an email to many addresses at once, open at account at www.campaignmonitor.com. The cost is only $5 per email and a penny per recipient. You can thus email 5,000 people for $55. If you don’t know how to create an html template, use plain text. The Campaign Monitor software will take you through a simple and easy process.
  19. And finally, Facebook and Twitter are grabbing the attention of the adult school demographic. If you are not using these tools you may want to start now. These clickable links will help:

Dealing with the Media

Read local newspapers and tune to local radio and TV stations to identify members of the media who might be interested in your program. Make note of reporters who cover topics such as education, social policy, children’s issues, and parenting. Be sure to ask parents, staff, and board members if they have any personal contacts in the media. Send information about your program to the writers you have identified, especially when you have something newsworthy to share, or when related events arise in your community. In this way you can establish yourself as a reliable source of information so that they will know to call on you when their research warrants expert opinion.

When publicizing your program or activities, create a press release that is easy for the journalist to translate into an article. The more “print-ready” the release is, the more likely it is to end up in actual print. Be sure to have brief, to-the-point synopses of your service components available so that if the press release is about a specific part of the program, the reporter will have the basics at hand when writing the story.

Collect copies of news articles that mention your program or involve individuals in connected with your program. These can be sent to other media people to attract more attention, as well as potential key educational decision-makers such as district personnel, school board members, lawmakers, etc.

Keep good black and white photographs on hand (at least 5 by 7 inches in size) of your program’s director and other key personnel associated with your program. This, too, makes the reporter’s job easier. You may also want to have photographs of families participating in program activities. Make sure to have parents’ written permission to use pictures for publication.

NEWS RELEASE TIPS

Do:

  • Write the press release on your letterhead.
  • Put the date and name of contact person with day and evening phone numbers in the upper-right-hand corner.
  • Make sure the contact person is available at those numbers for two or three days following the release.
  • Center a headline of five or six words in all caps. Limit your releases to two pages or less; type the word “more” at the bottom of the first page, and -00- or ### at the end of the release.
  • Put all essential information — the famous five W’s (who, what, where, why, and when) — in the first paragraph.
  • Use a quote in the second or third paragraph if possible.
  • Stick to short paragraphs and short declarative sentences.
  • Use the last paragraph to sum up your organization.
  • Read the newspapers you want to have cover you and write your releases the way their reporters write their stories.
  • Follow-up with your key contacts.

Do Not:

  • Try to be cute and don’t gush. Don’t say “We’re brilliant!,” but be sure to quote the mayor if she or he says it.
  • Resort to rhetoric.
  • Think that because a release isn’t used, it’s been wasted. Every thoughtful and well-written press release increases the reporter’s understanding of your organization.
  • Send a release to more than one person at the same paper. Send it to your key contact; then if she does not use it, ask who else might be interested.

Sample Public Service Announcements

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
XYZ ADULT SCHOOL
CONTACT: (Name, address, Phone #, email, web)
NOT FOR USE AFTER 4/13/2018
Adult Education Week: April 9-13, 2018
30 Sec :
Looking for a job but find that basic reading, writing, and math skills are holding you back? Need job training in fields such as healthcare, computer technology, office and business skills? If the answer is yes to either question, you should contact XYZ Adult School where inexpensive job training and basic skills classes are available at convenient times and locations. Learn more at XYZ Adult School’s open house during Adult Education Week, Monday, April 9, 2018, Phone XYZ at 333-4444 or visit xyz.com

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
XYZ ADULT SCHOOL
CONTACT: (Name, address, Phone #, email, web)
NOT FOR USE AFTER 4/13/2018
Adult Education Week: April 9-13, 2018
15 Sec :
Do your reading, writing, and math skills keep you from getting a job? Contact XYZ Adult School where inexpensive job training and basic skills classes are available at convenient times. Visit XYZ Adult School’s open house during Adult Education Week, Monday, April 9, 2018. Call 333-4444 or visit xyz.com
(Send these double spaced, on separate pages, with a cover letter, to broadcast public affairs directors several weeks prior to Adult Ed. Week)

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
XYZ ADULT SCHOOL
CONTACT: (Name, address, Phone #, email, web)
NOT FOR USE AFTER 4/13/2018
Adult Education Week: April 9-13, 2018
10 Sec
Want a job? Want a better job? Call 000-000-0000 or visit xyz.com for information about career training programs in your community.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
XYZ ADULT SCHOOL
CONTACT: (Name, address, Phone #, email, web)
NOT FOR USE AFTER 4/13/2018
Adult Education Week: April 9-13, 2018
20 Sec
Are a lack of basic educational skills hampering your job search? If so join the thousands of other California adults who are improving their reading, writing, and math skills. Start right now by calling XYZ Adult School at 000-000-0000 or visit xyz.com for information about low cost instruction.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
XYZ ADULT SCHOOL
CONTACT: (Name, address, Phone #, email, web)
NOT FOR USE AFTER 4/13/2018
Adult Education Week: April 9-13, 2018
30 Sec
Want to improve your chances of being hired, or of getting a better job by improving your reading, writing and math skills? Join the thousands of adults who are improving their skills at 300 California adult schools. In this area, XYZ Adult School offers basic skills and job training at convenient times and locations. Start right now. Call 000-000-0000 or visit xyz.com.
(Send these double spaced, on separate pages, with a cover letter, to broadcast public affairs directors several weeks prior to Adult Ed. Week)

Generic Press Release
Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Workforce

DATE: __________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: (Name, address, email, web address, and phone #)

ADULT EDUCATION WEEK FOCUSES ON CAREER TRAINING
Adult and Continuing Education Week, April 9-13, 2018, at XYZ Adult School in Gotham City. XYZ will join with other California adult schools in honoring teachers and students in programs that prepare students for employment. The week’s theme is “Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Workforce”
 
“Too many in our community want to work but are not qualified to fill jobs that are available.” said XYZ principal, Suzy Q. “Our Adult Basic Education, High School Diploma and ESL classes lay the groundwork to meet the basic skills required by employers. Those who already possess those skills can step right into our career training programs in such fields at healthcare, computers, office management and related fields, many of which lead to paid internships.”

XYZ School has scheduled a variety of events (attach) throughout the week including an open house (or other activity/event) on Monday, April 9, 2018 (or other time/date), from 9 am to 9 pm. Tours of all programs offered at XYZ will be available and refreshments will be served throughout the day.

Like many California adult schools, XYZ provides a wide range of low tuition educational services including High School Diploma, GED, Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, Citizenship and Career and Technical Education programs. There are other programs, too, at XYZ but during Adult Education Week the spotlight is on jobs and employment.

XYZ Adult School is located at 345 Main Street in Gotham City. The telephone number is 444-444-4444, or see us on the web at www.xyz.com.

Generic Press Release
Student of the Year

DATE: __________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: (Name, address, phone #, email, web)
Gotham Adult School Honors its “Student of the Year”

Gotham City, April 2, 2018 — At age 30, Alberto Diaz was at a dead end. With no high diploma the only jobs he could find were low-paying. He washed dishes in a restaurant and worked as a laborer for a small landscape maintenance company. Lacking training and education, he was continually turned down for better-paying jobs. A friend told him about the High School Diploma program at XYZ Adult School in Gotham City. Alberto enrolled and within a year, while continuing to work nights washing dishes, earned his diploma. He wasn’t done, however. Tired of dishwashing and digging in the hot sun, he signed up for XYZ’s three-month EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) course and soon earned an EMT certificate. Then, with an instructor’s help, he found an entry level job. Alberto kept going and is now a full-time paramedic working for the Gotham City Fire Department and saving lives.

“I now have a responsible job and am making a contribution to our community. Without the programs at XYZ, and the individual attention and counseling I received there, I might still be washing dishes,” Alberto said. It wasn’t an easy road but he persevered. Alberto will return to XYZ to be honored as the school’s “Student of the Year” at an open house, Monday, April 9, 2018 at noon, during Adult Education Week. The event’s theme is “Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Workforce.”

Like many California adult schools, XYZ provides a range of low-tuition educational services including High School Diploma, GED, Adult Basic Education, ESL, Citizenship and Career and Technical Education programs. During Adult Education Week the spotlight is on jobs and employment. XYZ Adult School is located at 345 Main Street in Gotham City. The telephone
number is 444-444-4444, or see us on the web at www.xyz.com.

Suggested Proclamation Language

(Change as needed to fit your school’s programs.)

WHEREAS, that from (date) through (date), under the theme “Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Workforce” the State of California will observe Adult Education Week, the city of ____________, its mayor and council, acknowledge that our __________ Adult School serves the changing economic and cultural needs of a vigorous, expanding community; and

WHEREAS,________Adult School provides instruction to those in our community who need English as a Second Language and Citizenship courses; and

WHEREAS,_______ Adult School provides career and technical training for adults seeking career changes or enhancements; and

WHEREAS,________Adult School, recognizing that to break the cycle of illiteracy we must focus on educating parents, provides programs in Family Literacy

WHEREAS,________Adult School is a primary community resource for the teaching and instruction of adult literacy; and

WHEREAS,______ Adult School provides a way for adults to complete high school studies in their own time and pace; and

WHEREAS,_______ Adult School provides instruction for parents and families, ranging from pre-birth classes through a wide spectrum of parent education and family literacy courses; and

WHEREAS, ______ Adult School provides for the unique needs of individuals in a diverse population,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ____________, Mayor of the City of________, do hereby proclaim _____day, April ____, 2018, as: “ADULT SCHOOL DAY” in the city of______________and salute the administration, teachers, and students of the __________Adult School and honor their efforts and accomplishments on this day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I here unto set my hand and cause the seal of the city of ______________ to be affixed this _______day of_____________, 2018 _______________________