The APWA national, chapter, DCS and self-assessment websites will be down for system maintenance and upgrades from 11:00pm central time Friday, August 29th to approximately 12:00am central time, Saturday August 30th.

HOW TO GUIDE: STUDENT OUTREACH



Helping students to know and understand the world of public works is one of the highlights of National Public Works Week. A successful student outreach program requires intense planning and follow-up. Your Education Committee may want to establish a committee for each program it implements.

The Education Committee should first decide how to approach a community-wide education program by reviewing the organization's goals and objectives for National Public Works Week. Then the committee can determine whether to work with one district, with only one grade level but in all districts, or some combination in line with the objectives of the celebration.

Three programs are described, and a suggested calendar is included. There is one program for elementary students, one for middle school students and one for high school students.


Topics in this section:

Elementary School T-Shirt Design Contest
Creative Alternatives
Soliciting Corporate Sponsors
Middle School Equipment Show And Tell
Senior High School Shadow Day
 

Elementary School T-Shirt Design Contest


A T-Shirt Design Contest encourages students to be creative while they learn about public works. Design subjects include parks and recreation, recycling, road repair and street cleaning. Print the winning design on T-shirts and distribute T-shirts to students and members of the organization to wear during National Public Works Week.
 

Calendar



Three Months Before

Meet as a committee to begin planning phase.
Review allocated budget.
Send letter to school or district administrator to introduce the program and request a meeting. Include a copy of your proclamation if you'd like.
Representative meets with school or district administrator to present program overview.
Determine the number of T-shirts you will need for employees, students, government officials, teachers and vendor-partners.
Solicit corporate sponsors to provide T-shirts, art materials, screen printing and prizes to contest winners.
Ask to meet with the art teacher to obtain help setting realistic guidelines for participants (size, materials, theme). Provide the teacher with a fact sheet about public works and offer to answer any questions.
Set a deadline for entries.

 

Two Months Before

Develop a campaign to promote the contest through posters, the school newsletter, school calendar and the PTA.
Confirm corporate sponsors. Gauge interest in displaying designs in their office as a way to generate business traffic.
Schedule a time and location for judging, preferably at the school.

 

One Month Before

Select contest judges. Consider educators, artists, designers, broadcasters or public works officials.
Judge entries.
Coordinate the announcement of winners if more than one school is participating so all winners are notified at the same time.
Arrange to display entries and winners at schools, public buildings, public works facilities or corporate sponsors.
Send media releases or invite the press to attend the awards ceremony.
Have T-shirts screen-printed.
Schedule and publicize the day during public works week the T-shirts should be worn.
Develop and distribute an evaluation form teachers can give to students that captures the information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Develop a separate form for teachers' evaluations if you like.

 

One Week Before

Distribute T-shirts and provide information as to the day they are to be worn.
Confirm a date and time with the photographer.

 

During National Public Works Week

Recognize winners and present prizes in conjunction with a civic meeting, dedication or banquet.
Wear the T-shirts to work. Photograph groups of individuals wearing the shirts.

 

One Week After

Send thank-you letters to teachers, students and school administrators. Remind them to send back evaluation form.
Send congratulatory letters to winners.
Send thank-you letters to corporate sponsors.
Include a picture of your staff wearing the T-shirts in correspondence.
Prepare information for evaluation phase.


Back to top


 

Creative Alternatives

Have a button design contest.
Display designs and have students or patrons vote to select the winner.
Ask your staff to supply their own T-shirts and give to the students to design. This allows the art teacher to explore alternative materials such as melted crayons.


Back to top

 

Soliciting Corporate Sponsors

Make a list of potential sponsors.
Contact prospects in writing, then follow up with a phone call to schedule a meeting.
Be specific about what you want. If possible, be ready with numbers.
Emphasize what the company would receive for their generosity: company logo printed on the T-shirts, mention of company sponsorship in all contest publicity, etc.

Back to top

 

Middle School Equipment Show and Tell


Bringing an Equipment Show and Tell to school enables students to see first hand the equipment you use in daily operations. Recycling vans, refuse trucks, pavement recyclers, road graders and lift trucks hold fascinating possibilities for students this age. This activity is ideal if you have limited resources. You could schedule an Equipment Show and Tell at a different school every day of National Public Works Week.
 

Calendar

 

 

Two Months Before

Meet as a committee to begin the planning phase.
Review allocated budget.
Obtain permission from public works divisions to display equipment.
Send a letter describing the program to the school or district administrator.
Work with the school official to schedule the date and time of the program. Try to schedule the program during National Public Works Week.

 

One Month Before

Inform public works divisions of the date, time and location of the equipment display.
Arrange to transport the equipment to each school.
Confirm scheduled date and time with each school.
Work with the school official to determine the exact location for the display.
Select equipment guides. Ask for volunteers, or persuade individuals capable of developing a rapport with the students. Participating may require the guides to be away from their jobs for the day.
Develop an evaluation form teachers can give to students that captures the information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
Arrange for a photographer.

 

Two Weeks Before

Develop a brief orientation of the equipment. Make sure guides are communicating in language appropriate for the age group. When you time your presentation, allow time for a questions-and-answer session.
Confirm arrangements with public works divisions: time, date, address, site location, transportation arrangements.
Confirm date, time, address and site location with guides. Make sure guides know to arrive 30 minutes before the equipment is scheduled to arrive. Also make sure guides know where to go and who to ask for when they arrive.
Send media releases.
Confirm a date and time with the photographer.

 

Day Before

Confirm arrangements with public works divisions.
Confirm date, time, address and site location with guides.

 

Day of Equipment Show and Tell

Guides arrive 30 minutes before equipment is scheduled to arrive. They introduce themselves to the school official and verify where the equipment will be parked.
Guides direct equipment transporters to the right location as they arrive on the grounds.
Present the program and allow plenty of time for a question-and-answer session.

 

One Week After

Send thank-you letters to school officials and teachers. Remind them to send back evaluation forms.
Send thank-you letters to the media for any coverage.
Thank all guides.
Thank participating public works divisions.


Back to top


 

Senior High School Shadow Day

A Shadow Day enables a high school student to experience a workday in the life of the public works professional who performs a job of interest to the student. In the process, students learn that public works services employ a variety of professionals, technicians and administrators who have been schooled and trained in a variety of fields.
 

Calendar

 

Three Months Before

 

Meet as a committee to begin planning phase.
Determine how to identify professionals who would be interested in having a student shadow them during their workday.
Select volunteers who will easily develop a rapport with the students.
Make sure volunteers know what is expected of them. They should, for example, provide lunch to the student.
Arrange for a few alternates should a scheduling conflict arise.
Compile a database of volunteers.
Determine the number of students the program can handle.
Send a letter describing Shadow Day to the school or district administrator.
Follow up with a phone call.

 

Two Months Before

Schedule the date through the school administrator. Try to schedule Shadow Day during National Public Works Week.
Discuss with a school counselor how to promote Shadow Day and develop criteria for student participation.
Establish a deadline for students to apply.
Develop and print Shadow Day Participation Request Form.

 

Six Weeks Before

Deliver applications and promotional material to school counselor.
Place an ad in the school newspaper advertising National Public Works Week and Shadow Day.
Develop an evaluation form to capture students' impressions of the effectiveness of the program.

 

Four Weeks Before


    Confirm date with schools.
    Inform public works divisions and volunteers of the date.
    Purchase name tags for volunteers and students.
 

Three Weeks Before

Meet with counselor to review forms and select participants.
Send media releases.

 

Two Weeks Before

Notify students in writing they have been selected to participate and verify the date. Be clear about transportation, attire, lunch arrangements and what is expected of them during the day. Include the evaluation form and a parental permission agreement form.
Notify teachers and school officials who has been selected to participate and when Shadow Day is scheduled.
Match volunteers with students.
Review with volunteers what is expected of them during the day.
Arrange for a photographer. Make sure the photographer understands the scope of the assignment.

 

One Week Before

Provide each student with the name and phone number of the person they will shadow, specific location of the facility, directions, where to report and when.
Confirm arrangements with participating public works divisions.
Confirm date and time with volunteers.
Confirm date, time and assignment with photographer.

 

Day Before

Confirm arrangements with public works divisions.
Confirm date and time with volunteers and students.
Make any necessary adjustments.

 

Shadow Day

Ask volunteers to meet students at the door when they arrive.
Introduce volunteers to the students.
Complete name tags.
Touch base with the photographer.

 

One Week After Shadow Day

Send thank-you letters to school officials, counselors.
Send thank-you letters to the media for any coverage.
Thank all volunteers.
Thank public works divisions.
Follow up with students who have not returned their evaluation.

Back to top

 

Checklist

  • Meet as a committee to begin planning phase. Review budget allocation.
  • Send letter to school or district administrator to introduce the program and request a meeting. Include a copy of your proclamation if you'd like.
  • Choose a representative to meet with school or district adminstrator to present program overview.
  • Solicit corporate sponsors.
  • Schedule the date for the event.
  • Coordinate details of event with school adminstrators, teachers or counselors.
  • Coordinate details of event with public works departments and facilities and communicate event information with employees and volunteers.
  • Arrange for a photographer.
  • Send media releases.
  • Hold event. When the event is over, gather information for evaluation and promptly give information to the planning committee.
  • Send thank-yous to participants and supporters and to media for any coverage.

 

Back to Community Outreach



Back to NPWW Home



Download a sample proclamation here

If you have questions about NPWW or art requests, please contact Jon Dilley via email or call 816-595-5251.