Champion starter guide: Wait until grade 8
You’re here, you’re excited, you’re ready to jump in and spread the word!
Here is a quick start guide for championing the Wait until Grade 8 (WUG8) pledge in your school community!
Step 1: Start Small
If taking this initiative to your entire school community feels overwhelming, that’s okay! We recommend you start small. Grab a friend or two, and ask if they have heard of the Wait until Grade 8 pledge. Share with them why you have signed it and ask if they might be interested in helping bring the pledge to your school community.
Step 2: Spread the Word
Once you have a wingman, it’s time to spread the word. Here are a few possible communication channels:
- If you have access to a school directory, use the email template from the WUG8 Resource page online to share information about the pledge.
- The quickest and most effective way to get an active pledge is to email all the parents from your child’s entire grade. We recommend when sending the group email to blind copy all of the parents. This avoids lots of back and forth over group email.
- If you don’t have access to a directory, ask your School Governing Body (SGB) to help you share information about the Wait until Grade 8 pledge. Let them know that you are willing to champion this effort; all you need is their help being a communication channel for information and events. If your SGB is interested in a higher level of support, they also could rally your community by sending pledge updates to the school community periodically.
- Check with your school’s principal as well to see if he or she would be willing to distribute an email about the pledge.
- If you are hitting walls with the school and the SGB and don’t have access to the school directory, start with the people you know! Gather the email addresses you have and start from there. Rally your friends to reach out to their circles as well about the pledge.
- Social media is a powerful way to spread the word. Download a Wait until Grade 8 image from the WU8 Resource page online and share it on your Facebook or Instagram page letting your community know that you have signed the pledge and would love others to join!
- Some parents need a safe place to learn more before they gain the confidence to take the pledge.
Of course, not everyone you contact will be moved to make this decision. You will be amazed though by the number of people who will respond with a “Thank you—I am so glad I am not alone!”
Step 3: Gather Your Community
Parents in your community might have questions, concerns, or barriers they need to voice before they can commit to taking the pledge. Or, they might just prefer face-to-face conversations! Either way, Wait until Grade 8 gatherings can be a great place for parents to lock eyes with this issue and link arms with each other. Here are some ideas to help you organize a gathering:
- Invitations: There are many routes you can take to make sure your community is aware of the event you plan. If your SGB will send out a flyer, that is great! If not, consider sending out an invite or posting a digital invitation on social media.
- Venue: If you think you might only have a small group of parents, a kitchen table is a lovely place to get started. But, if your numbers will be big, consider using your school’s library or cafeteria. Public libraries often also have rooms you can use to meet, and most librarians will be thrilled to support your cause!
- Setup: Truly, all you need to provide for your group is nametags and access to water. If you like, you could also set out a sign-in for attendance for you to refer to later. Set up does not need to be fancy!
- Agenda: You have freedom to call your meeting to order however you wish. We have developed a short video that is available as a resource to help you get started.
- Perhaps the most simple and effective way to get the conversation started is to introduce yourself and share why you took the pledge. Invite others to do the same. Share what hesitations they have with pledging, and brainstorm ways you can support each other. Wrap up your meeting by encouraging your community. Even though the mountain of research, theory, culture, and parenting perspectives on this topic can be overwhelming, there is power in taking this journey together. Thank them for coming!
Step 4- Follow Up
After you sign the pledge, you should have received the confirmation email.
Thanks again for being willing to champion the pledge in your community. We are honoured to link arms with you, and excited to watch your community rally together to give your kids a longer childhood and let them enjoy real-life experiences fully.