We’re setting school parents a challenge: to say hello to three new families by the end of the third week of school.
This is on the back of our latest survey which found that 76% of parents had not reached out to a new family in the last nine months. 24% of those surveyed had never taken the time to welcome a new family and 32% last made contact with a new family over a year ago.
It’s time to rebuild the strong school communities that have been pulled apart by the social challenges of Covid – from being told not to linger at the school gate right through to cancelled bake sales and parties. The first step is extending a warm welcome to your new families.
Susan Burton, CEO of Classlist, a free community app for schools says: “We are calling on well established parents to give back now. Especially after the past 18 months of disconnection and alienation, we’re asking you to take the time to extend a welcome to the new faces you’ll see at school in the next three weeks. There’s always time to pay forward the kindness you benefited from at the start of your school parent life.
“We’re asking school parents to welcome new families in person and share our campaign on Instagram @classlist, Twitter @goclasslist or Facebook @schoolclasslist using #hellohellohello to send a wave of welcomes across the globe.”
Parents lose interest in volunteering as their personal needs change
We’ve analysed the activity of 300,000 parents who use our free community app and found that they work hard to be involved in school during their child’s first two years. They go out of their way to establish themselves and their children in their school community by sharing advice, setting up parties and playdates and volunteering at fundraising events. The reason is simple – because we all want our children to thrive socially as well as educationally at school.
But all this fantastic community energy and welcoming environment can fall off a cliff once children are settled – unless the parents have formed a tight bond in the early years. Classlist data from user activity across 16 countries shows that everywhere you go, the schools with great social networks (both IRL and online) end up fundraising more.
Class Reps help friendships and fundraising flourish
Clare Wright, co-founder of Classlist explains why: “People are far more likely to volunteer to help with a fundraising event if they know their friends are going to be there too. There aren’t many people who will volunteer at a bake sale, or a sponsored event without any buddies to go along with.
“We’ve tracked school groups and found that those with really active Class Reps (Room Parents in the USA) in the early years will have helped parents meet and bond over the many little social events, the coffee mornings and nights out. In turn, those tight-knit classes end up raising more funds for school later on because of their joint willingness to volunteer to help at events or even running the parent association.”
- Classlist is a free community app for schools, where families become friends, help each other, run brilliant fundraising events and volunteer. It offers schools their own micro-community with a photo-based parent directory, message boards, events tools including ticketing, RSVPs and volunteer sign ups. It’s a moderated, transparent alternative to WhatsApp, where no-one has to share their phone number to be part of the community.