Our SHOW THE LOVE social media contest starts today! Leave a comment here with your child (or children's) center, then jump over and like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and leave comments with your center of choice. Each one is an entry into the Show the Love Social Media Contest. The winning center will receive a field trip or special event for all of the children!!
@nccdi on Twitter and Instagram
Follow us and leave a comment!
I have been asked why we are on so many different social media outlets. Its a lot. Our main one is Facebook, but we also have active Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest profiles. That's not all, though. We also have a presence on Google+, we have a YouTube channel, and can be found on Yelp. So, why so many? Each has a different purpose, and a different audience.
Facebook was our first. It is also our most active. Facebook is just so darn convenient--many of our families have Facebook pages so it is very easy for them to interact with us, check out photos, share photos and events, even direct message us with questions or comments. We post upcoming events and even storm warnings, center closures and other news on Facebook. It is kind of the catch-all, and holds a little of each of the other social media content as well. We also use it to interact with our partner agencies.
Twitter is short and sweet little snippets of news; 140 characters to be precise. Our Facebook is linked to our twitter so in addition to Tweeting unique content directly, anything posted on Facebook is cross-posted there as well. However, that is not what we use Twitter for most. We actually utilize it to track breaking news, make connections with political figures, share content from other resources, etc. We follow more than we are followed on Twitter, if that makes sense.
Instagram is where we are little sillier and more whimsical. Our NCCDI bugs, Ziggy, Jules and Cookie, lead the way as we visit via pictures our communities and our centers. Instagram is fully visual storytelling, and we are trying to be creative with the point of view from the vantage point of our little critter buddies.
Pinterest is an opportunity to extend our students' learning at home. What we pin is projects and crafts that parents can easily replicate at home to continue as their child's first teacher. We have boards that are specific to various holidays, ones that highlight recipes and healthy eating, and ones to engage preschoolers in hands-on learning.
Google+, YouTube, and Yelp are all areas we are just recently developing. Google+ and Yelp are useful to help drive more traffic to our website and make us easier to find when searching online. YouTube is where any video content that we create will live, so that we can share it. The plan is for that to only include content created by NCCDI.
There you have it; a very long answer to a very short question. Please let us know if we can improve our presence online in any way, or if you have content you would like us to share.
Its exciting to be facing the possibilities brought by a new year. Its a time of renewal, a time to make resolutions to improve ourselves and our outlook on life.
I am looking at ways to be more effective at reaching out to our families and to our community, to make NCCDI a household name and to help our communities understand what Head Start and Early Head Start are all about. People think we are merely daycare and aren't aware that our high quality programming in Head Start is accredited through NAEYC. People also often believe that Head Start/Early Head Start are just programs for children. They don't understand that our family engagement programs are an integral part of what we do, for if we can help families become lifelong educators and learners, support family well-being, and become leaders and advocates, the children achieve higher overall success.
We have a number of things in the works to increase our visibility in the community; the first is this website and our social media presence. It may seem small, but having a strong online presence helps us to expand our ability to communicate and engage with our families. We are now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. We are also gearing up to host a Corning Chamber of Commerce event, Corning in the Evening, at the Corning Head Start Center in February. We want to show the business community just how valuable our programming is to their workers and customers.
I would love to get to know more of our NCCDI families, and learn more of their stories. We have shared two, Araceli's and Cheri's, on our Success Stories page, but I would love to get more of an idea of who our families are, and what keeps them coming to Head Start.
Happy New Year!
Each month every center holds a parent meeting. These are required by Head Start programming, but for the staff and families, they're more than just something we have to do. This is an opportunity to discuss the issues faced by the center, to offer suggestions to make your family and your children's experience the best it can be. It is also a chance to review various health, safety and nutrition topics. Parents are also asked to take an active role in curriculum planning. This is the place to plan field trips and request Parent Activity Funds.
Each center encourages participation from as many parents as possible--we know your time is valuable, and with work, parenting and other obligations it is hard to give it up for ONE MORE THING. But without your participation, parent meetings don't work.
Let us know what would make parent meetings work for you--do you need a ride to get here? Is it a held at a time that just doesn't work for you? We want to see you here, so lets work together to help make that possible!
Parent meetings usually offer some sort of refreshment. Sometimes there is a hands-on activity. Mostly, though, its an opportunity to network with other parents, make connections and get some support--something we all need as parents!
One of the unique elements of Head Start that is different from other early childhood education programs is our work with families. We have 7 family engagement outcomes that we strive to meet through our work with families, as we know that a healthy, successful family leads to children who are ready for and successful in school.
The PFCE Outcomes:
Family Well-Being: parents and families are safe, healthy and have increased financial security
Parent-Child Relationships: starting with becoming a parent, parents and families develop warm relationships that nurture their child's learning and development
Families as Life-Long Educators: Parents and families observe, guide, promote and participate in the everyday learning of their children
Families as Learners: Parents and families advance their own learning interests through education, training, and/or other experiences that support their parenting, career and life goals
Family Engagement in Transitions: Parents and families support and advocate for their child's learning and development through transitions into new learning environments
Family Connections to Peers and Communities: Parents and families form connections with peers and mentors in formal or informal social networks that are supportive and/or educational and that enhance social well-being and community life
Families as Advocates and Leaders: Parents and families participate in leadership development, decision-making, program policy development, and community and state organizing activities to improve children's development and learning experiences