Case Studies: Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute
CHALLENGE: Principal For A Day, a project of the Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute, is an annual event where volunteers from the public and business sector partner with principals in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Participation had stagnated and with over 100 schools, the project best was 62 matches, mostly from the non-profit sector. With only six weeks notice, our charge was to coordinate one match for every Oakland public school (104). The goal was for business and community leaders to experience a “day in the life” of a principal to help them learn about the common ground shared and the multitude of challenges faced every day at a school site.
STRATEGY: KYS sought matches with A-list businesses, and developed a program to “fit” the expectations of the top-tier business community. KYS restructured the day, developed a database, updated the graphic design of the materials including registration forms, invitation and confirmation materials. Using our membership with the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, we facilitated matches between the business community and principals, and coordinated a luncheon for all participants.
RESULT: KYS secured 129 participants, doubling attendance and providing more than one match for every Oakland school. We attracted A-list business participants by creating an event that respected their time. A-list businesses included the Port of Oakland, the two largest law firms in Oakland, several banks, Children’s Hospital, Mills College, Comcast, Pankow Builders, YMCA and Coliseum Lexus of Oakland. We enlisted the services of an event-planning firm to coordinate a luncheon that included over 240 participants. Business leaders and OUSD executives commented on how efficiently the day ran and how moved they were at seeing the inner-workings of Oakland’s public schools.
According to Dr. Angela Haick, Principal of Piedmont Avenue Elementary School, who had worked in multiple schools districts, “PFAD 2005 was the best Principal For A Day she had ever experienced anywhere in the country.”
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