The following elements have contributed vastly to the initial success of Engage and schools are encouraged to remain as true as possible to these:
Identification of suitable champion for Engage
This individual should preferably be a teacher with a broader vision and true passion for utilising the school as platform to impacting the community. Sound organisational and communication skills are vital and a solid reputation in the school community will ease the embracement of Engage by parents.
Assembling a dynamic leadership group of parents
The insights gathered from discussing ideas and strategies with such a group are invaluable. If a school wants to operate under the “Engage” banner, this committee should consist of Christian parents who are passionate to make a positive difference and impact the lives of individuals and communities. The size of this committee can be decided upon by each school but six to eight is a good place to start.
An intriguing launch evening advertised with excellence
The launch evening will have quite an effect on how Engage will be perceived in the long run. An effective launch event will ensure keenness amongst the parents to continue with and expand on the programme. To ensure a good turnout, the marketing of the evening should be comprehensive and excellent.
Efficient communication with parents who attended Engage evenings
A distribution list of Engage evening attendees should be compiled and feedback and thanks from the evening should be circulated promptly. Good communication is essential in terms of advertising Engage events and continuously encouraging parents through Dad Challenges and the like.
The backing of the headmaster/headmistress
It is of major importance that the headmaster/headmistress supports Engage by adding his or her weight to invitations and by supporting the evenings by physically being present. This will reinforce the crucial understanding that the initiative was launched by the school and that the senior management of the school views the Engage programme as premium.
Sensitive integration of faith topics
In order to include as many parents as possible, the Engage committee of each school should provide guidance as to the integration of Christian content into the presentation of the programme. Engage evenings should be inclusive yet, if appropriate in a given community, the guest speakers should have the freedom of talking about their faith.