Peachjar's digital flyer system helps school districts increase parent & community engagement and provides families with access to school and afterschool programs.


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How to Prepare your Students for College – Important Life Skills Not Taught in Class

We all know that top-notch colleges are looking for students with stellar academic records and high participation in extracurricular activities, but what are some of the more “soft skills” that will help a student succeed in college? We’ve compiled a list of important skills that contribute towards college success, and how you as educators can help your students succeed in these areas.

  1. Money management – For many students, college is the first time that they will need to be financially responsible for themselves. Help students by offering them classes in how to manage their finances, or get them involved in their own college savings program. Having skin in the game (ie paying for part of their tuition) will help them appreciate their education and make them more likely to not slack off (repeating classes=more money!).
  2. Nutritional knowledge – Health plays an important role in college success. One can’t attend class, let alone pull marathon studying sessions if he or she is malnourished or combating a cold every other week. Offer students opportunities to learn how to build a solid weekly menu and how to cook a balanced meal.
  3. Conflict resolution – As students leave home and go out on their own, they will have less support in the way of how to handle their relationships, and the conflict that may surround them. Offer students opportunities to learn how to manage their relationships, approach conflict in a healthy manner, and how to ultimately be a positive and productive person that others want to be around.
  4. Finding a job – Often times, schools focus on how to apply and interview for college, but what about how to find and interview for that college job? Chances are they’ll have to start earning some dough before college is over, teach students where to look for these opportunities and how to properly interview for them.
  5. Time management – While high school does prepare many to manage their studies, after school activities, family and friends, it doesn’t take into account the addition of the newly found freedom that comes with college. Help your students understand that a healthy work/life balance will be critical to their success, and teach them how to attain that.

As educators, you play such an important role in the future of today’s students. Thank you for continuing to shape the lives of our future’s leaders!

By  Rhea O’Connor, Marketing Manager at Peachjar

 


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Holiday Things to Do with Your Kids

The holidays are upon us! For many children, that means lots of down time. So why not help parents fill that time? We’ve come up with 25 fun holiday activities that get kids moving, thinking, and bonding with their families! Check out our recommendations, and comment with your own suggestions!

  1. Make s’mores
  2. Go biking or sledding
  3. Play card games
  4. Go bowling
  5. Have an indoor picnic
  6. Visit a museum
  7. Bake cookies
  8. Go to a festival of lights
  9. Create a scavenger hunt
  10. Play laser tag
  11. Volunteer in a soup kitchen
  12. Go ice skating
  13. Make a gingerbread house
  14. Go caroling
  15. Go skiing/snowboarding
  16. Do a random act of kindness
  17. Go for a hike
  18. See a play
  19. Learn to sew
  20. Donate a toy
  21. Make homemade hot coco
  22. Read a book
  23. Have a photo taking contest
  24. Do science experiments
  25. Write thank-you notes

Click to download our “Holiday Things to Do with your Kids” flyer templates in both English and Spanish. These can be used as-is or customized and distributed through Peachjar to parents! Download and click “enable editing” to view the complete template. Happy Holidays!

By Rhea O’Connor, Marketing Manager at Peachjar


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What Afterschool Program Are You Thankful For?

Here at Peachjar, we talk a lot about the importance of afterschool programs and how they truly shape the lives of children. In celebration of Thanksgiving, we asked Peachjar employees “What afterschool program are you thankful for?”

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“As a Cub Scout, I learned that parent engagement is critical. I utilize lessons I learned then in my parenting today.” Mike Durham, CEO & Founder

cara

“For me, it was x-country running and track! My amazing coaches all pushed me to want to be the best individual runner AND human I could be, while also showing me the importance of and value in being a team player.” Cara Aley, Chief Marketing Officer

brandon

“US Youth Soccer helped me build team and leadership skills that encouraged me to succeed in high school, college and now in my workplace.” Brandon Ferrer, IT Support Engineer

emily

“Girl Scouts helped me make friends with girls that I wouldn’t have otherwise interacted with. I loved going camping and it gave me the confidence to do activities without my parents.” Emily Adamiec, School Support Specialist

wesley

“Playing Pop Warner football helped me build character, learn discipline and was a great source of fun!” Wesley Van Rensburg, Director of Engineering

kellie

“AYSO helped me fall in love with soccer and made me want to be a more active person!” Kellie Brosamer, District Success Coordinator

 

rick

“4H helped me with discipline as well as setting and working a plan.” Rick Jolicoeur, Operations Supervisor

sean

“I played Little League and Pop Warner which taught me life skills and the values of teamwork, integrity and work ethic.” Sean Gousha, Director of Operations

 

It’s clear to see that afterschool programs have such an amazing impact on our lives! We hope that you will take a moment to thank that special afterschool program in your life, and continue the tradition of afterschool programs with future generations to come!

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Peachjar!

By Rhea O’Connor, Marketing Manager at Peachjar


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Peachjar Reaches Philanthropic Milestone – $2 Million to K-12 Programs

When Peachjar opened its doors in 2011 , it set out on a mission to change the trajectory of children’s lives. Part of doing that, was allowing children the opportunity to learn about enriching programs in their community. While some of those programs were being communicated to parents via paper flyers being sent home in students’ backpacks, others were free programs that lacked the funds required to reach parents. Peachjar allowed these programs to distribute their flyers locally free of charge through its philanthropy program.

Since its inception, Peachjar has donated $2 million in flyer distributions to worthwhile programs that offer free resources to students and parents, like the FLSE Fire Prevention Program. Fire Prevention Officer Diane Woods says, “I am so excited that we can access this valuable tool to help save lives. If we save one life through this network, it doesn’t get any better.” As well as Evangelism Fellowship’s Good News Club, who uses Peachjar to promote its annual food drive which serves 1,100 households each month. Their representative commented that, “Peachjar has helped many, many families!”

We’re proud to be able to help these wonderful programs reach their full potential, and to ensure that parents know about all the great programs in their community! In honor of Veteran’s Day, we’d like to say a special thank you to those who have served and continue to serve. Below is one of the many flyers in support of veterans that was shared through Peachar for free.

veterans-food-drive

 

By Rhea O’Connor, Marketing Manager at Peachjar


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Communicating with Millennial Parents

With the rapidly growing population of millennial parents in today’s schools, it’s important to understand how to most effectively communicate with them. In fact, 43% of current parents in your schools are millennials, as are 90% of new parents now.

Millennials fall between the ages of 18-36 and are characterized as being socially connected digital natives who are constant consumers of content.

So how do you break through to this group? Here are 5 good rules of thumb in communicating with millennial parents:

  1. Use Visuals. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, and they also receive 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs. Include video in your content, and increase click-through rates by 200-300%!
  2. Make it Brief. The average human attention span is just 8 seconds – 8 SECONDS! That’s less than that of a goldfish. Which means that you need to make your content quick and to the point. Keep your content brief and videos to just 60-90 seconds.
  3. Make it Mobile. Many of your parents rely on mobile to access the internet, so mobile optimize your website to ensure millennial parents can easily view your content. Connect with your parents through email, blogs and social media. And don’t forget to have some fun! Your parents love when you infuse some personality.
  4. Share Your Cause. Another characteristic of millennials is their affinity towards brands that support a cause. Share your district’s “why” with millennial parents, and you’ll have a loyal supporter for life.
  5. Master your Google Page. The overwhelming majority of millennials use Google to conduct any kind of research. Make sure what they find is good! Since few ever go past the first page of Google, producing new and relevant content will push old, washed-up news to the back.

You may be asking yourself, what about my non-millennial parents? Chances are they also enjoy visuals with brief, emotional content served up to them digitally! So don’t be afraid to utilize these tips throughout your district.

For more detailed tips on communicating with millennial parents, view our webinar.

By Rhea O’Connor, Marketing Manager at Peachjar


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Share Social Resources with your Community

As many of you know, Peachjar is a platform for schools and program providers to share information about school and afterschool activities with parents. What you may not know, is that so many goodwill flyers come through our system. Things like resources for homeless families, free health services, foster care programs and food drives. These flyers are distributed free of charge to families in the community.

So make sure you’re using your digital flyer system to it’s fullest potential! Spread the word about resources in your community, your parents will thank you!

By Rhea O’Connor, Marketing Manager at Peachjar


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Leveraging Social Media to Increase Parent Engagement

Social media is fast becoming one of the preferred channels for parents to stay informed about what’s going on before, during, and after school. According to a study released by Pew Research, 75% of parents use social media. Of those parents, 83% of moms and 74% of dads say they use social media as a source of useful information.

Not only that- social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or pay-per-click ads and the social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate. That’s why keeping up with social media best practices and incorporating it into your marketing strategy is so important.

Social Media Channels

With all the different social media platforms available, it can be hard to decide which ones to incorporate into your marketing strategy, especially if you have limited time and resources. If you are new to social media, you may want to start with managing one or two channels to slowly familiarize yourself with it. We suggest focusing on Facebook, as 74% of parents are on this platform, making it the primary social media channel for this audience (Pew Research).

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Social Media Best Practices

Now that you know where your audience is spending their time, it’s time to engage with them! As you are coming up with a content for your channels, it’s important to keep these social media best practices in mind:

  • Be genuine and human – No one wants to engage with a company that comes off like a robot in their posts and responses. Parents connect with companies that have personality, show human characteristics, and make a difference in the world. With that said, it’s important that your organization reveals its philanthropic side. According to the Edleman goodpurpose Study, 72% of consumers would recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t.
  • Respond quickly – According to a Lithium study, 65% of Twitter users expect a response in less than 2 hours. This number grows to 72% when there is a complaint involved. Social media provides you with an opportunity to cater to your audience when they are seeking support and also allows your organization to connect with parents on a more personable, authentic level. 47% of Lithium’s survey participants were more likely to make a recommendation through social media when they received a timely response from the company.

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  • Acknowledge positive engagement – When a parent likes, shares, or comments on your post, take that extra step and respond to them. This shows your followers that you appreciate their time and interest and in return, they’ll appreciate that you’re making the effort to engage back. Doing something as small as providing some positive affirmation can make the world of a difference in your organization’s relationship with a parent. Social media is about building relationships.
  • Be a resource – For those of you who haven’t heard of the term ‘inbound marketing’, it refers to the concept of generating your own relevant, compelling content to drive revenue for your business. Self-generated content can also mean making sure that all of your images in your social media post are branded with your organization’s logo and messaging. Thought leadership is key when providing your target audience with content- you want to establish your organization as a trustworthy and reliable source for relevant information.

We hope this information helps you achieve optimal success in your organization’s social media marketing efforts. For more best practices, register for our next webinar on how to communicate with millennial parents:

Schools – Register Here

Program Providers – Register Here

By Susan Le, Marketing Manager at Peachjar