By: Lewis Fein
In a country where, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six children have some kind of learning or developmental disability, it is critical to give these individuals the care they need and the instruction they deserve. Expressing that fact online – letting parents know their options – is yet another reason to maximize the power of social media. For the ability to communicate, to convey key points about this issue and describe innovative ways to change this situation, is at the heart of how we use this platform. Remember, too, that this matter involves the most vulnerable and innocent among us, including those boys and girls with conditions like attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, dyscalculia and various other challenges.
It is important, therefore, for a school dedicated to helping these children to articulate its values, emphasize its virtues and highlight its overall strengths. As a parent, I believe that that effort is crucial – indeed, obligatory – for an institution that seeks to help these children. I think when you survey how schools describe this mission on their respective websites, and how they reinforce these points on social media, one thing is clear: A school’s mission must resonate with its target audience; it must reassure parents, create or restore a sense of self-confidence among students, and achieve measurable progress across the board.
One such school that fulfills that mission is Pacific Point Academy, led by its founder and voice of expertise, Debbie Shaler Williams. The school is an example of how to use the Web, and how (through their soon-to-be-revised Facebook page) to leverage social media and to educate the public about the reality of confronting learning challenges.
This organization, with its dedicated faculty and one-on-one assistance, is a source of relief for parents and children alike. It is a reminder that innovation in the classroom yields long-term dividends well after the school day ends. (I encourage readers to review Miss Williams’s statement of purpose because it is both an educational summary of, and a reiteration of the ethical significance concerning, having an environment that is safe, friendly, novel, creative and fun. On behalf of fellow parents, let me also assure them that Pacific Point Academy puts a premium on transparency, communication, and collaboration.)
Those three factors are also the essence of running an effective social media campaign: They encourage dialogue, support constructive commentary, and transform parents into stakeholders involving a conversation of great urgency and legitimacy. If all schools were to follow this model of outreach, never mind emulating this kind of teaching and care for students, we could revolutionize outcomes for children with – or without – learning challenges.
Our challenge, then, is to communicate well – and communicate consistently well, on- and offline. If we take Pacific Point Academy as our source of inspiration, there is little doubt we can succeed.
The school’s record of accomplishment is quantifiable, the support on its behalf is verifiable and its vision is undeniable.
Now is the time to change hearts, and win minds, by communicating this record of achievement.
Lewis Fein is a writer, parent and marketing consultant. Based in Los Angeles, he is active in causes involving education and technology.