Well, tomorrow, December 3, is Ellen Swallow Richard’s birthday or as I call it, FACS Founder Day. When I started the #Save FACS blog posts, December 3 was the date that I set for wrapping up this series. My goal was to share 35 practical ideas for improving the image of FACS education. I must admit that I’ve lost count of the number of ideas I have actually shared, but I do know that there are still suggestions from my original brainstorming list that I have yet to include in previous posts. Since today and tomorrow wrap up the series, I’ve decided to share a list of the remaining ideas with a brief explanation for each one. As always, I hope you find these tips useful.
Develop Cross-curricular Connections
Developing projects with teachers in the core academic areas of your school’s curriculum can help to highlight the broad spectrum of the FACS curriculum. This is a practice that is near and dear to my heart. Most of the resources I have developed emphasize the integration of academic concepts into FACS. This is a topic that will surely come up again in future blog posts. Stay tuned or visit the Fresh FACS website for examples.
Use of Your School’s Website to Showcase Students’ Work
The FACS curriculum offers so many opportunities for students to create impressive projects and to share practical and timely information. Your school website is one of the best and most logical places to share students’ work. Take full advantage of this golden opportunity.
Make a Friend of the Editor of Your Local Newspaper
Most local newspapers thrive on personal connections with the people of the communities they serve. Don’t be shy about submitting info about your classes to be published in the newspaper. By submitting quality photos and interesting copy about FCCLA and FACS classroom projects, you will actually be doing the newspaper staff a favor. Keep your program in the news as much as possible!
Connect with Your Former FACS Students
Do you have students who have gone on to pursue careers related to FACS? I’m sure you do! Maintaining a connection with those FACS stars can benefit your program in various ways. Inviting these FACS professionals into your classroom to talk to your students lends a very real-world authenticity to your program. These individuals are also often staunch supporters of your program and their voices can be very influential with school administrators.
Partner With FACS-Friendly Local Businesses
The restaurants, caterers, retail stores, furniture stores and interior design firms and day care centers are among the types of businesses with whom your FACS classes can successfully work to the benefit of everyone. When you work with local business owners to coordinate field trips, student work experiences, professional demonstrations and related activities, you demonstrate to your community that FACS courses are practical and useful.
Join and Become an Active Participant in FACS Professional Organizations
The decline in membership and participation in professional organizations is a very disturbing trend that is occurring all across the country. At a time when FACS professionals are struggling to prove the value of their curriculum, teachers who choose to “go it alone” run the risk of losing touch with and the support of a broader network of FACS professionals. Staying active in your FACS professional organizations provides the opportunity to network with other FACS educators sharing exciting ideas and solutions to common problems. There truly is strength in numbers.
That’s it for today! Don’t forget to celebrate FACS Founder Day tomorrow! I’ll be tweeting about Ellen and her amazing accomplishments all day tomorrow. FYI—The Essence of Ellen activities will only be available for free download from the Fresh FACS website through midnight December 3.