If a satisfied customer is the best form of advertisement, who could make a stronger endorsement for our schools than a happy parent?
Throughout the Camden Diocese, parent ambassadors give school tours, distribute event flyers, call prospective parents, extend invitations to school events and activities, and share their experience with the broader community—from ball games, to book clubs, to beach circles and beyond.
Rosemary Schamp, School Business and Enrollment Specialist in the Office of Catholic Schools, sees the difference parent ambassadors make. “They’re our best source for promoting the schools,” she said. Schamp helps schools launch and manage parent ambassador programs based on a model developed by the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“Our parent ambassadors are invaluable in attracting new families and providing peer-to-peer marketing,” said Christine Willard, advancement director at John Paul II School in Stratford. She credits her ambassador team with creative new activities, including a Leap into Kindergarten Day and a Treasure Hunt that involved current and prospective students with their parents. Those efforts resulted in the enrollment of more than 40 new Pre-K to eighth grade students, including 10 Hispanic students thanks to the support of a Spanish speaking parent ambassador.
Jackie Kern, advancement director at Saint Mary School in Williamstown, values the candor between prospects and existing parents. ”Ambassadors give parents of new students a way to ask questions parent-to-parent in a less formal way,” she said.
“They are our eyes and ears in the community,” explains advancement director Sheri Klein at Saint Michael the Archangel School in Clayton. With news about the closing of a local child care center, Saint Michael ambassadors reached out to affected parents, generating a new stream of potential students for the coming school year.
“That kind of community outreach is a perfect example of how parent ambassadors can help us grow our schools,” said schools Superintendent Mary Boyle.
Jennifer Campolieto generously donates her time on behalf of Saint Mary School in Williamstown. “Being a parent ambassador is fun!” she said. “It gives you the opportunity to meet and interact with families and to show them all that Saint Mary School has to offer.”
Schools are always on the lookout for dedicated parent ambassadors. Contact your elementary school’s principal or advancement director to become part of the team at your child’s school. Grandparents make great ambassadors too.
Mary Beth Peabody is communications and marketing manager, Office of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Camden.