Tips on Starting/Running a Club at Your School
How to Advertise School Clubs
Are you starting a new club and need more members? You’ll need to advertise in a bunch of different ways in order to spread the word and get people to join. By using your building’s resources, as well as outside sources like websites and social media, you’ll have the best chance to build your club. Then, keep members engaged by planning fun meetings.
Using School Resources
Create a catchy statement to put in the morning announcements.Think of something clever, attention-grabbing, and short to get listener’s attention. Your statement should get the basic information across, like the club name, something fun or interesting it does, and why it’s good to join.
- You don’t want to spend too much time going over details--students may get bored and stop listening. Instead, give them the time and location of the first meeting and invite everyone to attend!
- Try saying something like, “Checkmate! Want to be a winner? Join Chess Club! Our first meeting is this Friday in Mrs. Jones’ room #24 after school. All skill levels are welcome.”
Make flyers and posters to hang up around the building.Make them bold and colorful, and use current trends and pop culture references to really grab everyone’s attention.
- Most schools have to give approval from the main office before you can distribute flyers and posters, so be sure you check with them first so they don’t get taken down for not following the rules.
- You could also create smaller flyers, by printing four-to-a-page, to pass out to individual students. Bookmarks would be a fun option, too!
Set up an information station in a busy location.Ask the main office if you can set up a booth before or after school near the front entrance of the school or by the bus stop.Surround your area with your posters and flyers and be prepared to answer questions.
- Offering drinks or small treats is a great way to get people to your table. Once they are there, wow them with information about your club!
- You could also set your station up near the cafeteria during lunch or breakfast, but you can choose any place that a lot of students will pass by.
Go old-school and use word of mouth.Still one of the best ways to get information out is to talk about it. Tell all of your friends about the club, even if you think they might not be interested, and ask them to tell their other friends.
- Talk about all the good stuff like what you do at meetings, how fun competitions are, and the cool trips you might get to go on. Talk it up to get people excited and interested in joining.
Publish your club information on your school’s website or in the school newsletter.If you are able to use graphics or images, definitely do that. If you are limited to only words, keep it short and to the point, but also captivating.
- Try something clever like, “To be successful in life you need to make the right moves, think strategically, and plan for the future. Chess teaches you all of these skills!”then give information about how to get involved.
- This is also a great way to get the information out to parents, who may then encourage their student to join or find out more info.
Post information on your school’s social media pages.Ask the main office (or whoever is in charge of communications) to post about your club on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter--anything goes. The more places they can post the information, the more interest you will have.
Create a website for your club.Sometimes it’s easier for people to look information up online, rather than attend a meeting. Create a fun, interesting website that gives potential members all of the information they need, and inspires them to want to get involved.
- Wix, Webflow, and Google Sites offer web templates that are super user-friendly and free to use. Try one of these companies, or do an online search for “free website templates” for more options.
Making Meetings Fun
Schedule your meeting during lunch time so lots of students can come.Since students will already be at the school, it will be super convenient for them to attend. After school meetings can be hard since students may already have other things to do.
- See if a local restaurant can donate pizza or sandwiches and drinks, that way no one has to worry about trying to eat lunch before they come; or have current members chip in to bring in food.
Keep your meeting relaxed and casual so students feel comfortable.Sitting in a desk while one person speaks nervously at the front of the room won’t be very engaging. Tell jokes, have some music playing in the background, and walk around and talk to guests before the meeting starts.
- Desks lined up in straight lines may feel too much like class time. Arrange the desks in way that students can be grouped together, or put them in a large circle.
Play an icebreaker game to get your meeting off to a fun start.Ask each student to write down an interesting or little-known fact about themselves on a small piece of paper. It can be something simple like, “I was born in Canada” or “I skipped 1st grade.”
- Shuffle all of the papers and read each one aloud, asking students to guess who each statement belongs to.
- This will ease the tension in the room and will help students start to get to know one another.
Invite a guest speaker to come to the meeting.Ask them to talk about how great the club is, and the benefits of joining. It can be a teacher who participated in the club when they were a student, or someone well-known in your community who supports you.
- Your guest speaker should be able to offer new perspectives, and will inspire and motivate students to be involved.
Give a prize for bringing guests to your next meeting.This can be a soda and candy bar, gift card, or even a club shirt if you have them. You can offer something small to each student who brings a guest, and a larger prize to the one who brings the most.
- Don't be discouraged if you don't have much involvement at first. Forming a club-- especially a brand new one--takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. Stay persistent and don't give up trying!
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