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How to do Outreach in your School and Community

Using School Resources

Reaching out to members of your community is an important part of promoting your campaign and building your chapter. Outreach activities are used to:

  • Inform people about your campaign and youth rights in general
  • Find out what issues people care about in your community
  • Motivate people to get involved
  • Find new members for your chapter
  • Build coalitions with other advocacy groups

Publicize and Document Everything!

Before you plan a specific outreach activity, there are two things to keep in mind. You’ll want to promote your event so that people know about it. And you’ll also want to report on it so that people more people come to the next one. This means taking pictures and writing a little bit about why this issue is important and what your chapter is working on. Post your photos on your chapter’s social media pages and share it with your community. Also be sure to send your pictures to your Chapter Coordinator so we can share it on NYRA’s social media. And check out our media toolkit for how to use social and traditional media to promote your campaign.

Using school resources

School projects and assignments

Any time you have some choice about a school assignment, especially if you are working in a group or giving a presentation, you can use it to share your point of view with your teacher and fellow classmates and encourage them to join your campaign. Explaining youth oppression in a class presentation can also help you form a chapter or ignite a protest.

Writing for your school newspaper

School newspapers are a great way to reach your entire student body and you can write on a variety of topics, including updates on your chapter and the location of your meetings. Of course, you’ll have to answer to whoever edits the paper, but students in public schools have certain free speech rights and may be able to fight censorship even when the school publishes the paper.

Underground papers and zines

You can also choose to self-publish your own underground paper or “zines,” which are small, hand-crafted publications often used in resistance movements. There you’ll have more freedom to write about your ideas. These can also be distributed throughout local communities more easily than online publications, and will feel more personal to anyone who reads them.

Posters and Fliers

Design posters and flyers that have catchy headlines such as “Tired of having too much homework?” or “Want more say in your education?” Hang posters on the walls and hold them up at school events. Hand out fliers and place them in lockers, on car windshields, or wherever your school allows.

Stay in Contact

Always have a sign-in sheet available at all of your chapter’s activities including meetings, tabling events, and any protests or campus actions. You can also bring one to other organizations’ meetings and events, but it is a good idea to ask permission or let people know. You can also ask your teachers if you can make a two minute announcement about NYRA at the beginning of your classes and pass around a signup sheet.

Your sign-up sheet should collect people contact information and you can add them to an email list. Remember, everyone who comes to your table or your event is a potential new member and while some people won’t want to join your chapter, you can still encourage them to sign up to receive email alerts and reminders about NYRA-related actions, meetings, and events on campus. It is important to follow up with each contact.

Hold Open Meetings

Even there’s only a couple of people in your chapter, it’s important to set up a time to meet and invite others to it. Some people will just come out of curiosity. Be inviting and don’t be embarrassed to be looking for new people to join.

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