UMS Celebrating University-Model Schools and Families 速
l a n r u o J
Promoting your School Fundraising Tips & Tricks
Using FACEBOOK to Raise Your Profile Approaching the FINANCIAL AID Process
Editorial Advisory Board Barbara Nicholson Freeman, M.Ed. Executive Director National Association of University-Model Schools® Arlington, Texas www.naums.net
March-April 2011 Andrea Howey Director of Events & Marketing National Association of University-Model Schools® Arlington, Texas www.naums.net
Barbara Van Wart NAUMS Board of Directors National Association of University-Model Schools® Arlington, Texas www.naums.net
Volume I, Number II
HJP Published bimonthly by
Hudson Jones Publications, LLC Houston, Texas • Tulsa, Oklahoma 281-602-5400
Director of Advertising Jo Anne Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Cree Administrator Community Christian School Westfield, Massachusetts www.ccsfamily.org
Audra May Executive Director Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy The Woodlands, Texas www.legacypca.org
Terri Turley Administrator Oaktree Academy Virginia Beach, Virginia www.oaktreeacademy.org
Aaron Weast Administrator Logos Preparatory Academy Sugar Land, Texas www.logosprep.com
Editor Daron Jones email@example.com Entire contents ©2011, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without written permission of Hudson Jones Publications, LLC, is prohibited. The publisher accepts no responsibility for content of any advertisements solicited and/ or printed herein, including any liability arising out of any claims for infringement of any intellectual property rights, patents, trademarks, trade dress and/or copyrights; nor any liability for the text, misrepresentations, false or misleading statements, illustrations, such being the sole responsibility of the advertisers. All advertisers agree to defend, indemnify and hold the publisher harmless from all claims or suits regarding any advertisements. Due to printing and ink variances, the publisher does not guarantee exact color matching. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily those of the publisher or staff. Readers’ views are solicited. Publisher reserves the right to publish, in whole or in part, any materials or correspondence received from outside parties. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.
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march-april 2011 3
Outreach Ministry: A NAUMS Specialty
By Barbara Freeman, M.Ed., NAUMS Executive Director
Check out the incredible work our UMS students are doing around the country! Send in your own stuff to email@example.com!
What to Look for in a Language Arts Curriculum
By Belinda Carr, Faith Academy of Marble Falls (TX)
FUNDRAISING: Your Money or Your Life Roundtable interview featuring: • Belinda Henson, Destiny Christian Academy (TX) • Renee Meyer, Trinity Christian School (SC) • Kira Wilson, Veritas Academy (FL) • Charlcye Brueggemeyer, Grace Preparatory (TX)
10 Tips for Using Facebook as a Tool for Your School
By Belinda Henson, Destiny Christian Academy (TX)
TECH HEAD Clayton Harrell, Logos Prep (TX)
Strategy for Online Fundraising Auctions By Roger Devine, Northworld, LLC
Cargill Takes Over at King’s Academy By Jonathan Baggs, 10th Grade, KACS
One Myth and Two Truths: Nurturing Competent Communicators By Andrew Pudewa, Institute for Excellence in Writing
Cornerstone Entrepreneurs Break the Bank with Breakfast Business By Sharon Beaner, Cornerstone Prep Academy (GA)
On the Cover
Preparing for the Journey: Approaching the Financial Aid Process By Dr. Brad Moser & Kerrie Mitchell, University of the Southwest 2
Seventh-grader Caroline Shook, of Legacy Prep (TX), drew this incredible eagle in front of a capacity audience during a recent Legacy fundraising dinner.
a word from the executive director
A Specialty By Barbara Freeman, M.Ed. Executive Director National Association of University-Model Schools® www.naums.net
hat do you envision when you think of the National Association of University-Model Schools? An educational association, a member school affiliation, a support organization, or an accredited educational system? The answer is “all of the above.” However, what most people do not realize is this: NAUMS exists as an outreach ministry! As a distinctly Christian association, NAUMS serves a dual-purpose: to assist in the implementation of University-Model Schools throughout the nation, and once these schools are operational, to support and help sustain them for generations to come. In your role in the UniversityModel School in your community, do you ever think of the countless communities in the United States that do not have a UMS? Do you think of the hundreds of thousands of families that do not have a UMS as an educational option for their children? If you do, www.umsjournal.com
you realize the significance and importance of the National Association of University-Model Schools. If you read my article in the previous edition of UMS Journal, you learned that NAUMS has grown from 12 schools at its inception in 2002 to the current 50 schools in eighteen states. Although we are grateful for this growth, there is much more work to be done if we are to succeed with our vision to “strengthen America’s families and values by helping parents prepare college-worthy, character witnesses of Christ for the next generation.” At a time in our culture when we are most vulnerable to the destruction of the ideals we hold precious, we must be unified in stopping this attack on the American Christian family. One way we can do this is by supporting the University-Model School movement – at the local level, as well as the national level. As we become more and more successful in our country, we can enlarge our vision by taking the UMS to international shores. Through Christ all things are possible, so I ask for your prayers in the following areas: 1. Pray for America’s Christian families and values, 2. Pray for your local UniversityModel School, 3. Pray for the national association that supports your school and helps plant others, 4. Pray that everyone in this ministry and movement will honor and glorify God. 5. And finally, pray for God’s wisdom and favor and for the resources needed locally and nationally to take this ministry to the nation and to the world. If we are to be successful in this Kingdom work, we must be people of prayer, people of vision, and people of action. UMS 3
Congratulations! The girls varsity basketball team (below) from Faith Academy of Marble Falls made it all the way to the Texas state finals, and proudly finished as the runner-up. The 9th-12th graders are coached by Jerry English, who also achieved a milestone with his 1,000th win this season. The junior varsity Lady Flames are pictured above. Way to go, girls!
& What to Look for in a
L a ng u ag e A rt s Curriculum
If you Love your language arts curriculum, you know Peace in your school. If you donâ€™t, well... Finding new curriculum can be exasperating, with so many companies claiming to have the best, updated, and proven programs. What do you do? Where do you start? Belinda Carr, Academic Supervisor at Faith Academy of Marble Falls, has the answers. March-April 2011
everal things come to mind
when contemplating either choosing a language arts curriculum for the first time, or researching the possibility of switching from an existing curriculum to a new curriculum. Using the NAUMS Essential Knowledge and Skills document, as well as your state standards, is recommended when choosing curriculum. A language arts program should consist of several elements: writing, grammar, literature, and spelling. These elements contain necessary components, goals and objectives, which should be met. 5
For example; the writing element should contain lessons that guide the students in the development of writing complete sentences, paragraphs, essays, and research papers. Students of all ages should be exposed to age-appropriate writing opportunities that will lead to a complete knowledge of writing that can be built upon in each grade level. The curriculum should have a scope and sequence timeline of the concepts that are taught in each grade level. Looking for age appropriateness is an important factor. Keep in mind that students should be exposed to major concepts that coincide with their neurological developmental stages. Some of the top language arts curriculum programs that other schools use include Bob Jones University Press, A Beka Book, Sonlight, Institute for Excellence in Writing, and the Jane Schaffer writing program, to name a few. Keep in mind that a “perfect” curriculum does not exist. Almost all curriculum programs are going to have a few “holes” that force you to use other resources to address missing concepts. However, this should be minimal, if any at all.
when selecting a curriculum. Remember they are the ones that will be using this “tool” in the classroom. Let them take it home and match it to the current curriculum that is being used in the classroom. 4. Parental input is another key to selecting curriculum. Select a few parents to view
Ask your teachers to meet with you again in a couple of weeks to give feedback on the chosen textbook. List the strengths and weaknesses. Determine whether the trial period, in the classroom, was successful or not. 7. Cost of the textbook should also be considered, but should not be the deciding factor. How expensive is the textbook? Does the company offer free teacher materials with the purchase of a certain number of student textbooks? 8. If you use www.classbook. com, check to make sure that the textbook is easily accessible. If it is your parents’ responsibility to purchase the textbook, they need to have easy access to websites or companies to purchase the textbook. Make sure it is available to them to avoid unnecessary complications later in the process.
A language arts program should consist of several elements: writing, grammar, literature, and spelling. Each element contains necessary components, goals and objectives.
Suggested Procedures for Making the Decision 1. Researching to find out which textbooks offer a program that matches the needs of your school is the first step of successfully selecting curriculum. Many publishing companies offer a free 30-day or 60-day viewing period. If you decide to send the textbooks back, shipping and handling costs will be your responsibility, but there will not be a charge for viewing the textbooks. During the research stage look for key concepts that match your school’s philosophy. Make sure that the scope and sequence matches your existing scope and sequence, or that it challenges the students to move to the next level (if your school is prepared for a challenge). 2. Check your school’s standardized test scores to pinpoint your language arts strengths and weaknesses. Finding a curriculum that will continue to improve your existing strengths and also help overcome your weaknesses should be a focus. 3. Give your teachers an opportunity to view the textbooks and give input. Collecting information from teachers is important 6
the student textbooks and give input as to whether it is parent and student “friendly.” Devise a few questions for the parents to answer. Giving parents guidelines as to what to look for will help them give you accurate information. For example: Are the directions easy to understand? Are there sample problems to follow? Are the page layouts and print size appropriate for the age level? 5. Narrow your selection down to the top two choices. Base your decision on the completion of the first four steps. Reading and analyzing the information you collect is key. Once you have narrowed down your choices, send all other curriculum back to the companies to eliminate confusion and accidental costs. Once you have narrowed your selection, conduct a meeting with your teachers. Look for the positives and negatives of each curriculum. Pray for guidance and direction. Remember God knows what the students of your school need to be successful. The goal of the meeting is to carefully look at both textbooks and determine which one best fits the needs of your school. Keep in mind that a curriculum should meet your students where they are, but also challenge them in their abilities to perform at a higher level. 6. Choose your preferred curriculum from the two finalists. Give your teachers the opportunity to complete a trial run or two in the classroom using some of the material of the selected curriculum. Teachers should be encouraged to find a lesson that matches a concept that is currently taught in the classroom and use the material from the proposed selected textbook. Remind your teachers that assigning work from the proposed selected textbook would not be appropriate. www.umsjournal.com
Taking it to the Board of Directors Once your final choice has been made and tested by teachers, create a proposal for your Board of Directors to ponder. It never hurts to get their opinion as leaders of the school. In the proposal state the purpose of the textbook, and list its strengths and weaknesses. If you are replacing a program, compare the proposed new textbook to the current textbook. Compare the textbook to the NAUMS Essential Knowledge and Skills document, as well as your state standards. Explain how the proposed textbook will increase scores on the standardized test. Remember this is a process that should not be rushed. If you are a new school selecting curriculum for the first time, give yourself plenty of time to make a well-educated choice. You’ll avoid a lot of problems later by getting it right the first time. UMS
THE AUTHOR Belinda Carr, Academic Supervisor of Faith Academy of Marble Falls, Texas, will present a workshop on selecting curriculum at this summer’s NAUMS convention at the Riley Center in Ft. Worth, Texas, July 20-22, 2011. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 830-798-1333. March-April 2011
Your or your
Money makes the world go â€™round. Money is the root of all evil. Money talks, suckers walk. Time is money. We all know the popular sayings. And that is because, quite simply, without adequate funding, your school will not survive. So we indeed turn to that dreaded word - fundraising. Will yours be a success or a failure. Now, now, donâ€™t panic. UMS Journal knows some folks who can help. March-April 2011
ou need a significant cash outlay to even launch a UMS, not to mention maintain one. And maintaining one doesn’t even begin to approach the topic of expanding and enhancing your UMS ministry into a really successful school. You’ve got to pay teachers and staff something, at least enough to keep the really good ones. And God bless our UMS teachers, because we all know they could make much, much, much more under a union in the public school system. But they choose to sacrifice for UMS because they are committed to God’s ministry to kids. You’ve got to have an attractive building, too, whether you rent or own it, if you want to be able to convince prospective families to join your school. That is a huge capital investment. You’ve also got to invest in sports programs (priced a uniform lately?), as well as other extra-curricular programs that keep the kids interested. After all, who wants to go to some lame-o school that doesn’t offer (fill in the name of your favorite activity here)? Keep in mind, too, that our UMS crusade is already behind the dollar bill eight ball because of our pledge to keep tuition to onehalf to two-thirds the cost of the local private school competition.
It’s a certainty that many of the prayers said in UMS board meetings across the United States often ask the Lord to lead our schools to some much needed money. And that leads us to fundraising.
Getting Some Godly Guidance
Whether your school runs its fundraising programs through its parent-teacher organization, a dedicated fundraising committee, a booster club, or some other mechanism, we all could use some fresh ideas on this monumental headache that never seems to go away. And I can even hear some of you whispering right now as you read this: Wait, we’re supposed to have a fundraising committee? If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to climb this mountain, have no fear. The Lord has blessed our educational model with some mighty bright and inventive individuals, and UMS Journal asked some of these leading lights to share their expertise on various fundraising topics. Participating in our roundtable discussion were leaders from schools of all different sizes. Here are their money quotes.
Introducing our Roundtable Participants Belinda Henson, M.Ed. Principal Destiny Christian Academy Fort Worth, TX dcalions.org
Renee Meyer Administrator Trinity Christian School Myrtle Beach, SC trinitychristianschool.us
How many fundraising events do you do per year? Do you do the same ones every year or change them up from year to year? Belinda Henson – We started the school with $286 from a one-day garage sale and the Lord has blessed this seed. We did a Read-a-Thon right before Thanksgiving and raised about $700. We did a silent auction at the church that hosts us and their members auctioned on our baskets and raised about $400. We are about to try the Community Camp this June and are hoping for $3,000. When we were with CLPS and trying to raise money, the North campus raised $29,900 between January 1 and May 1. We did cookie dough sales and raised $2,400, and we did a 5K run and raised about the same. The rest were letters to grandparents, current families, and local businesses. We only had 32 students K-6 so it was rather phenomenal and the glory rests in God our Father. We are hoping to only have the Read-a-Thon each year, a letter writing campaign, and the Community Camp. Renee Meyer – This is our first year in operation and we will have four fundraising events: two dinners, a praise and worship service, and one movie night. We are considering having an art fair next year in which 8
Kira Wilson Administrator Veritas Academy Largo, FL veritas-ircs.org
we will either auction or sell student artwork to parents and families. Kira Wilson – Veritas has two major fundraisers that we repeat each year. A Race for Education is held in the fall and an Auction Dinner is held each spring. The REF is an event that required mailers to be sent out for support and a day scheduled to walk/run the track. The auction is a combination of a silent and live event. Each elementary class creates a project to be auctioned (quilt, piece of furniture, tiled mirror, etc.), And the upper classes produce a themed basket. All parents are required to solicit $150 in donations per child. There are also auction committee members who diligently procure other general auction and raffle items. This is a fun evening with great food and fellowship. Charlcye Brueggemeyer – I could go on for days about fundraising, but I will try and be concise as possible. First, we do a great deal of fundraising in various ways and branches of the school. I have a couple of big projects that we do yearly, and then we have the whole other aspect that includes athletics, booster club, and school organizations. I do the same big fundraisers every year. They are tried and true, and we have develwww.umsjournal.com
Charlcye Brueggemeyer Director of Development Grace Preparatory Academy Arlington, TX graceprep.org
oped a system that is always improving and evolving. The two biggest ones that we currently do are our Auction/Dinner (always in November), and the Annual Gala, which is in the spring. Both these fundraisers are for the school as a whole. This fall I added the Chick-fil-A Calendar fundraiser (November) that is used for elementary. We will continue to do it each year. Which one is your most successful, and why? Belinda Henson – We have 16 students right now. I think the Read-a-Thon was effective because the kids were asking for the money! However, our most successful fundraisers are our parents. Many are volunteering their time one or two hours a week to teach an elective so that the tuition will be 100% towards the school. They are storing up treasures in heaven for this! Renee Meyer – Our most successful ones are the dinners. Our first dinner raised $850. Considering that we only have 14 families and 23 total students, we thought that was good. We have found that events that incorporate the community are the best. Kira Wilson – Each event provides $20K$25K per year with a student body of 120. Charlcye Brueggemeyer – Our Annual March-April 2011
Fundraising 101 Trinity Christian School in South Carolina planned four fundraisers in their first year of operation.
Gala does raise the most money, but the auction does not fall too far behind. Of course I am going to have to say it is a God thing for sure. That is really the only way I can explain it. The Gala is a very precious time where we do recap the year. It is a reflection of what the Lord is doing, and where He is continuing to take us. Some examples that our athletic teams and school organizations participate in that have been successful include: 1. Selling fresh baked cookies at lunch, 2. Gold cards, 3. Fresh Christmas Wreaths, 4. Shoot-a-Thon, 5. Spring Flower Sale. Are there any fundraisers you have tried in the past that you would warn other UMS schools to avoid, and why? Belinda Henson – I don’t recommend frozen cookie dough sales. It raised a lot of money in a little amount of time, but we ended up driving all over the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex hand-delivering cookie dough because parents could not pick it up at the scheduled time and we don’t have freezers to keep that kind of stuff. The anxiety was March-April 2011
not worth the profit. Renee Meyer – The other thing we have to consider is our location. We are located in a beach community and some fundraising efforts just don’t seem to work here, for example, grandparents day. Kira Wilson – I would avoid having too many fundraisers. Finding two successful events is less stressful on the staff and families and allows you to better plan your budget. Charlcye Brueggemeyer – Stay away from blankets. Too pricey and minimums have been too high to make much of a profit without the risk. Yard signs (sports, cheerleading, band, drama) have been so-so. I usually find that if someone is really passionate about their fundraiser, it will have some success. We try to only approve fundraisers that give a bigger return for the time involved.
but desire to put one into place in the next year or two. Renee Meyer – We do not have a PTO or committee yet that works on fundraising. I have depended on our board and parent volunteers. Kira Wilson – We have a parent that takes charge of each event, with support from five or more parent volunteers who take on certain responsibilities. For example, the auction chair has a committee of individuals who are in charge of these areas: decorations, procurements, publication, advertising, thank you notes, finances, food services, etc. Charlcye Brueggemeyer – We do have a version of PTO called PTF, or Parent/Teacher Fellowship. They do a fall carnival that helps the various school clubs and organizations. They also usually do a fundraiser for themselves to help fund their various needs.
Do you have an official parent-teacher organization (PTO), or a committee that organizes fundraisers? Belinda Henson – DCA currently relies on one of our administrators, Jennifer Lumpkins, to spearhead any fund raising events. We do not have a separate PTF/PTO
We all know that getting volunteers to help can be a problem. How do you overcome this? Belinda Henson – Right now, it is prayer and fasting, seriously. Renee Meyer – Volunteers are difficult to acquire but I have had great success this year. I think it is because the parents know where
Fundraising 101 my heart is and are willing to step up. Our board president also does an excellent job of recruiting people to help. Kira Wilson – Veritas parents are required to volunteer 24 hours per year and participate in both fundraising events. Parents have the option to “buy out” of their fundraiser obligation at a rate of $150 per event, per student, which covers the minimum amount we would hope to raise with their participation. Charlcye Brueggemeyer – Hmmm, good question. I find those that volunteer are usually the ones that volunteer in every area. At Grace Prep we do have some unbelievably talented, gifted, and giving volunteers, and we thank the Lord for those people. I find one of my biggest problems is limiting them, so as not to burn them out. I usually ask a few to head things up, and then they get others involved. We have grown our volunteer base the best doing that. However, I do have a sign-up sheet at the beginning of the school year for the various areas where volunteers are needed. Independent of specific fundraising events, do you sell school merchandise throughout the year (hats, T-shirts, etc.)? How do these fundraisers impact your annual budget? Belinda Henson – Actually we do sell T-shirts. We used a company for our 5K race in Saginaw, Texas, to print our T-shirts last April. I approached them about printing 30 of them for free to give to parents and students for advertising and school unity. He replied with how about 100 for free and you can sell them for a profit! Shout out to Kelly Franklin at Crestview Printing in Saginaw, Texas! We sell them for $12 each and it is 100% profit. We arranged “out of uniform” day to pressure parents to buy them for their kids: If they have a T-shirt, they can wear blue jeans. If not, they have to wear their uniform. We have purchased some yard signs but will give those away, as well as our bumper stickers. Name recognition is more important that fundraising at this stage in our history. We have used fund raising money for our fees to NAUMS, the 501(c ) 3 fee to the US government and marketing (signage, brochures, yard signs, and membership at the local chamber) Renee Meyer – Our annual budget is not dependent on fundraising. We purposed 10
not to depend on fundraising for general expenses. All fundraising goes toward student activities, additional student reading books, and those type of items. Basically, fundraising pays for the extras and wish list items. Kira Wilson – Fundraisers cover 10% of our operating expenses, which are 15% of our annual budget (excluding building costs). This means that our fundraisers are vital to the success of our program. Parents know that without this revenue, tuition
school). Target, Walmart, Verizon and others have grants and programs like this. This is something a parent volunteer can research for you as their volunteer hours. Belinda Henson – If your fundraising does not market your school at the same time, I think it is a waste of time. Silent auctions bring awareness because you go about your community talking up your mission while requesting the donations. Races and special events can do the same. We created
Scenes from fundraising events at Grace Prep (right) and Veritas (below).
would be increased at a greater rate. Charlcye Brueggemeyer – We do have Spirit Wear (T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc). Our booster club benefits from the sale of these items. We do well with jackets (kind of sweatshirt full-zip type), all kinds of GPA logo T-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts. We also have done well with stadium seats. Individual sports items have done very well. What should schools keep in mind when organizing these events, particularly if they are new to the process? Kira Wilson – Remember to check with local businesses and corporations that may offer a matching fund program through their employees (parents or employees in your www.umsjournal.com
letters and our families handed them out while they were at their doctors, dentists, auto mechanics, etc. When we get a little bit larger, we would like to attempt to sell advertising spaces on our Recitation flyers, as well as advertising for a yearbook (but that advertising fundraising would be so each student could have their own yearbook at no cost). Also, every fundraiser has a time of prayer as well as a specific goal amount and a purpose. For instance, the silent auction and the Read-a-Thon raised money to pay the $850 not-for-profit fee to the government and our transitioning UMS fees. We also raised $10 from Google ads on our website and were just verified for BoxTops! UMS March-April 2011
Online Fundraising Auctions I
By Roger Devine Northworld, LLC
t Is tempting to define an online fundraising auction as a variation on a gala fundraising auction. After all, in each case your supporters are engaged in a fun competition to purchase donated items in order to support your cause. However, the differences point the way toward several challenges that can undercut your chances at mounting an online auction as a successful fundraiser. Let’s explore a few of these differences, and then I will offer some guidance on how to address them. The first significant difference is that participation in an online auction brings no immediate recognition to the guest.
Many schools are considering adjusting their fundraising strategy to include online auctions. Before you decide to produce an online auction, there are several inherent challenges you should consider. In this article, I lay out three of the most common challenges, and offer strategies for meeting them.
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Gala fundraising events are philanthropyas-spectator-sport; your guests who make pledges or bid on live auction items are acknowledged for their generosity in the moment with applause and cheers; this recognition often spurs further participation and greater loyalty to your event and your group. In an online auction, however, the only feedback a bidder is likely to receive is the click of their mouse and a visible note about their bid on the item page of the website. When they win an item, they get an automated email asking them to come back to the site and enter their credit-card informa-
and support your group and its cause. Think back to galas you have attended; how often have you seen guests respond to the cajoling and encouragement of that auctioneer? How high do you think those guests would bid without that encouragement? So, how do you plan for these challenges? I offer three suggestions, all of which revolve around one core concept: marketing each stage of the event to your supporters. 1. Start by driving auction registration Use your in-house email list (preferably assembled through an opt-in process) to announce the fundraiser to your support-
tion. This is nowhere as stimulating as the applause of the crowd. Second, participation in an online auction happens in the spaces in between other events in our life. Gala auctions happen on Friday or Saturday night (okay, sometimes in the afternoon, sometimes on a Thursday), but when a guest attends a gala fundraiser the main focus of their attention is that event. Not so in the online auction; it’s just waiting there, and your supporters fully plan to sit down and get to it soon, or after dinner, or before bedtime, or tomorrow morning before the kids get up, or… You get the picture. It’s hard to focus their attention on your organization and your fundraiser. And when you do, the next distraction is only moments away. Third, gala auctions often feature an auctioneer; a professional salesperson with practiced, polished, proven techniques for stimulating buying behaviors in your guests. In most online auctions, there is no one prompting your bidders to take action
ers. You will likely want to send a “teaser” message to this list in the days leading up to the opening of the auction, and one or two more to it after you begin the bidding. Your call-to-action once bidding is open should be simple: please register at our online auction, so you can bid on wonderful items and support our cause. You can emphasize that registration is free, and entails no obligation to bid. At this point, you want to get them to “buy-in” to the event. As part of the registration process, make sure you get specific permission to use your guests’ email addresses for this fundraiser. 2. Next, promote the items Once you have driven supporters to the auction site, and encouraged them to register, your marketing job has just begun. Now you can move on to driving those registered supporters to take the next step – placing bids. Start by segmenting your list – use the institutional knowledge you have about individual supporters to create groups of bidders who will respond to specific items
or categories you have procured. Then send out customized email messages to those groups with images and links to take the recipients directly to the page where they can bid on one item that you know will appeal to them. 3. Then, promote the bidding action Once you have competitive bidding emerge on an appealing item, use your lists to alert other supporters to the fact that your event is generating excitement – and that they should get in on the action, too. Note the bidders who are in participating, and use the item closing times to create a sense of urgency – “Bidder ablebakercharlie currently has the high bid on the fishing trip for 4 to Lost Creek at $165 – and it closes in six hours! There’s not much time for you to get in and win this must-have experience, so click here and make your bid!” After your first closing, make sure you close each promotional email with a thankyou section, calling out specific guests who have won items – and a progress report on the event – “As of today, this online auction has raised over $6,000 to help fund our cause. We have a way to go to meet our $15,000 goal, but if you join in with bidders like jimmyfox, karenjones and tommytuxedo, whose winning bids have helped us get this far, we know we will make it!” The most common reasons why online auctions fail to raise the money their organizers hope they will is the lack of a robust marketing campaign that is focused on each intermediate step in the auction. Online supporters are less focused, and more easily distracted, than guests at a gala event, and thus the job of the online auction team is to repeatedly and gently guide them back to the task at hand – supporting the organization through participation in the fundraiser. UMS
THE AUTHOR Roger Devine is a founding partner in Northworld LLC, developer of the Tofino Auctions, SchoolAuction.net, and PartySupporters.com family of gala- and online-auction management software products. He has chaired many fundraising auctions for schools in his hometown of Portland, Oregon and is the author of the Procurement Tips for School Auctions email newsletter. March-April 2011
One Myth and Two Truths
Nurturing Competent Communicators By Andrew Pudewa Director Institute for Excellence in Writing
ertainly, it does happen that good readers can become good writers, but to extrapolate from that fact that good readers will automatically, naturally and inevitably become good writers is to warp a truth into an untruth, which when preached long and hard, becomes—if you will—a myth, an unfounded belief. Further damage is done when this error becomes a basis for a teaching methodology. If encouraging children to read a great deal—combined with opportunity to write creatively—becomes the primary method of instruction in composition, few students will reach the level of success hoped for, and many will fall short of their need. How do we know this truism to be a myth? Look around. In any family, classroom, or group of kids, count the number of “good” readers; now check the percentage and see how many can be considered “good” writers. Half? One-quarter? Not a majority, for sure. Undoubtedly, the “good” writers in the group are likely to also be “good” readers, but why does one not follow from the other as we have been told? How do we understand and deal with the good reader/poor writer enigma? An astute teacher must ask these questions. First of all, let us consider the definition of a “good” writer. Competence in composition should mean being able to communicate ideas in understandable, March-April 2011
“Good readers will become good writers!” A mantra frequently heard in the lecture halls of academia, echoing along the corridors of Junior High Schools, and boldly preached from the lectern, most often out of the mouths of the more wizened and experienced parents and educators, this statement strives to be a truism. But it cannot be such, because it isn’t true. At least not always. www.umsjournal.com
reliably correct, appropriately sophisticated language patterns. Brilliance, creativity and originality are nice ideals, but exist far above and beyond “competence.” Competence means having baseline skills necessary for success in the academic, business or professional world. Greatly lacking nationwide, competence must now—more than ever before—be the primary goal for teacher and parent. By definition, competent writers are able to use language properly and effectively. One simple and immutable fact about the human brain is that you can’t get something out of it that isn’t there to start with. Supernatural inspiration notwithstanding, human beings in general—and children in particular—really can’t produce thoughts or concepts that they haven’t first experienced and stored. In other words, we cannot think a thought we don’t have to begin with. Even the most unique, creative and extraordinary ideas can only exist as a combination and permutation of previously learned bits of information. What does this mean for the writing teacher who desires to nurture competence? If, what we need is a student who is able to produce “understandable, reliably correct, and appropriately sophisticated language patterns,” then what we must put into the brain are those same reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns. Ah, then reading should do it, right? Not always. In fact, it’s an interesting observation, but many children who become early readers, independent readers—good readers, often do not store complete and correct language patterns in their brains. Good readers read quickly, silently and aggressively. They don’t audiate (hear internally) each word or even complete sentences. Generally, comprehension increases with speed, but speed decreases language pattern audiation because good readers will skip words, phrases and even complete sections of books that might hold them back. And to the extent that children don’t hear—frequently—a multitude of complete, reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns, such patterns are not going to be effectively stored in their brains. So, what activity will allow children to store these complete, reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns in their brains? Probably the two most important and but least practiced of all “school” activities: Listening (being read to out loud) and Memorization. These two are perhaps the most traditional of all language acquisition activities, and yet in our modern educational culture, they have become the orphan children of the progressive parents of psychology and pedagogy. One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents and teachers is to stop reading out loud to our children when they reach the age of reading faster independently. In doing so, not only do we deprive them of the opportunity to hear these all-important reliably correct and sophisticat13
No matter what method they use, UMS students must learn to be effective communicators for Christ.
ed language patterns, we lose the chance to read to them above their level, stretching and expanding their vocabulary, interests and understanding. We begin to lose the chance to discuss words and their nuance, idioms, cultural expressions and historical connotations. And they lose something far more valuable than even the linguistic enrichment that oral reading provides; they lose the opportunity to develop attentiveness, the chance to experience the dramatic feeling that a good reader can inject, and even the habit of asking questions about what they’ve heard. Tragically, because of our hectic, entertainment-saturated, individualistic, test-obsessed, and overscheduled lives, few of us take sufficient time to read out loud to our students, even into their early teens—a sensitive period when understanding of language and understanding of life are woven together and sealed into the intellect. Because linguistic information is best stored in the brain auditorily, children who have had read to them reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns for many years are much more likely to develop competence in written (and verbal) communication skills. However, there is another no-so-secret weapon in the sagacious parent’s arsenal: Memorized Poetry. There is perhaps no greater tool than memorization to seal language patterns into 14
a human brain, and there is perhaps nothing more effective than poetry to provide exactly what we want: reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns. Although rote memorization and recitation went out of vogue when the great god of Creativity began to dominate ideology in the Schools of Education, it has stood for centuries, even millennia, as the most powerful way to teach, to learn, to develop skills and to preserve knowledge. By memorizing and reciting, you practically fuse neurons into permanent language storage patterns. Those patterns are then ready to be used, combined, adapted and applied to express ideas in a myriad of ways. Additionally, because of the nature of poetry, poets are often compelled to stretch our vocabulary, utilizing words and expressions in uniquely sophisticated—but almost always correct—language patterns. A child with a rich repertoire of memorized poetry will inevitably demonstrate superior linguistic skills, both written and spoken, because of those patterns which are so deeply ingrained in the brain. What’s even more gratifying, however, is that children love to recite poems they have learned. Seeds of creativity are planted. Language emerges. Poems give words wings. And, if you do have your students memorize a poem, don’t ever let them forget it! Say it once a day, or once a week, or once a www.umsjournal.com
month—whatever is necessary—to make it a permanently stored piece of art. Start with the funny ones; move on to the dramatic. Start short; gradually lengthen. Have fun and be proud of their accomplishments. If you can do that, the drudgery of “rote” learning will disappear, and a great joy of language will emerge. So then, the one myth is that good readers will automatically become good writers. Not true. Many things about writing can be can be taught directly, but two timeless truths—the two most powerful ways to nurture competent writers—are that we must to read to them, out loud, a lot, even when they could read it themselves, and to have them memorize great gobs of poetry, thus storing in their brain for life a glorious critical mass of reliably correct and appropriately sophisticated language patterns. UMS
THE AUTHOR Andrew Pudewa is the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. His seminars for have helped transform many reluctant writers into confident communicators, and equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve their students’ skills. NAUMS Executive Director, Brarbara Freeman, awarded him with an “honorary Ph.D.” at last summer’s NAUMS conference. March-April 2011
Preparing for the Journey Approaching the Financial Aid Process at Colleges & Universities By Dr. Brad Moser and Kerrie Mitchell, University of the Southwest
n the United States, there are over 4,000 colleges and universities for students to consider as they are planning their futures. Between 2-year and 4-year schools, public and private institutions, and online and campus-based programs, there are arguably more options available for individuals today than ever before, and these numerous possibilities can help increase the chances that students will find a college or university that is the right “fit” for them. Regardless of the educational options that a person chooses, however, the availability of financial aid resources is an important factor for students and their families to take into account. Additional financial resources can help families more comfortably manage college expenses and can make it possible for students to attend the school of their choice. Some students, for example, may genuinely desire to attend a private, Christian university but wonder whether they can afford the tuition as easily as they could at a publicly funded institution. In these instances, financial aid can become a great equalizer that helps level the playing field. Bceause of the various forms of financial aid that are available, the posted “sticker price” of a private college is very often not the actual price that someone has to pay to attend that school. When calculating college expenses, students and their families need to be certain to consider the “sticker price”, minus the financial aid a student can receive, in order to determine the true bottom line. Although few private schools can offer tuition rates like those at public institutions, the fact remains that when scholarships, grants, and other aid are factored, costs come much closer to or, in some cases, become even less than a public college. Some financial aid opportunities are purely need-based, but there are numerous other forms of aid that may be awarded based on a wide variety of criteria. Therefore, to avoid leaving money on the table, it is in any student’s best interest to explore the options that might be available. The following paragraphs offer information on the basic types of financial aid and also provide some helpful hints that may be useful in approaching the financial aid process. Financial Aid 101: Basic Forms of Aid Financial aid makes up the difference between what your family can afford to pay and what college costs. The three main types of financial aid used to pay for college are gift aid, work-study, and loans. Gift aid includes grants and scholarships, which do not have to be paid back. Grant aid is often based on financial need, and funds are provided by federal and state governMarch-April 2011
Helpful Hints 1. Visit the Office of Financial Aid at the colleges you are considering attending. Since financial aid is such a vital part of the process, a friendly and helpful financial aid staff should be a consideration when choosing a college. The financial aid staff should be devoted to serving the student and parents to make the financial aid process as easy and beneficial as possible. The financial aid staff is a valuable resource of information and assistance that you will come to depend on each year as you earn your degree. Build a relationship with your financial aid advisor so that he or she thinks of â€œyouâ€? when a new scholarship opportunity comes up. 2. Apply early! Some types of grant funds are limited and are basically first come, first
Never pay money to apply for financial aid. If you are asked to pay a fee, do not proceed with the application.
ments. Both public and private colleges utilize grant funds to assist students with educational costs, and the Financial Aid office at a college will determine if you qualify for grants based on your financial aid application. Most private colleges also provide extensive scholarship opportunities based on factors such as academics, athletics, and involvement. Scholarships generally require specific applications, so be sure to talk with a financial aid advisor to determine the scholarships for which you should apply. Work-study is usually on-campus employment, but sometimes there are also employment opportunities off-campus. Funding for work-study is provided by federal and state governments, and the college. Students can work and receive a paycheck or may use their work-study funds to pay for tuition or on-campus living costs. Workstudy is also a great way to receive valuable work experience that will enhance your college education. Again, check with the financial aid office to find out how to apply for this type of aid. Loans can be used to postpone paying for the educational costs that grants and scholarships do not cover and are available to the student as well as to parents. Loans do have to be paid back. Repayment on student loans does not begin until six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. 16
served. Provide all documentation requested by the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing your application for aid. 3. Be aware of application deadlines. There are deadlines for financial aid and scholarship applications. If you miss a scholarship deadline to apply, you may have missed a great opportunity for additional funding. 4. Consider scholarship opportunities that may be available to you personally through employers, organizations, and the community in which you and your parents live. Businesses often provide scholarships to local students who demonstrate need or potential. High school counselors are also a great resource for scholarship opportunities. 5. Never pay money to apply for financial aid. The federal application and scholarship applications are free. If you are asked to pay a fee, do not proceed with the application. 6. Pay close attention to communications you receive from colleges and/or scholarships for which you apply. You may be asked for additional information that, if not provided, can prevent you from receiving the aid, or you may need to complete another process, such as accepting awards. Follow through and stay in regular contact with your financial aid advisor to be sure you have completed all processes to finalize your financial aid. 7. Pray and have faith! God has a perfect plan for you, and we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose! (Romans 8:28) UMS THE AUTHORS Dr. Brad Moser is Vice President for Enrollment at University of the Southwest, a private, Christ-centered university in Hobbs, NM. He is a licensed professional counselor, and has taught career development courses and numerous workshops on career and related topics. Kerrie Mitchell, MBA, is the Director of Financial Aid at University of the Southwest. She has worked in the area of Admissions and Financial Aid since 2003, and has presented on Financial Aid and Financial Literacy at numerous workshops and seminars. Visit them online at www.usw.edu. March-April 2011
HERO By Julie Dawson, 7th grade CrossPointe Preparatory Searcy, AR www.crosspointeprep.org Who is your hero? Is it some person in your family? Or, is it a super hero on TV? For me, my hero is JESUS. Jesus is the Messiah. If you were to ask what his occupation was, it would be hard to put it in one word. He was born a carpenter’s son and the son of God. He was a teacher, a physician, a preacher, and a savior to the world. Because Jesus was born of Mary, a woman, he was a human being. But, he was also the son of God without any trace of sin. He is both fully human and fully divine. Bethlehem was his birth place while Nazareth was his home. His ministry greatly focused around the region of Judea, and he lived on earth just over thirty years before his physical death. Walking everywhere, you could say his hobby and sport was cross-country. He was a people person always concerned with their wellbeing. As a Jewish Christian he was the one for whom the Jews had anxiously awaited to deliver them from the Roman oppression. His life was a celebration over evil and death. Loved beyond measure. I met this hero of mine when I was introduced to my family at the hospital. My relationship with him grew and I became a Christian on September 9, 2007. His everlasting love for me becomes clearer each and every day. The love is deeper than the ocean and wider than the sea. It gently covers me when I am weary and lonely. Because he came to serve and not to be served he is my great example. Giving hope to the weak Jesus comforts them. Compassionately serving people in need he is my mentor. He listens. He is kind. He is peace. His love endures forever because he is love. I hope to be more loving like Jesus as I mature. Jesus also knew and understood his God given purpose. Jesus never hesitated to put everything on the line for people, embracing the world’s condition and exposing him to the worst. I don’t know anyone who would die for everybody in the world. Probably I wouldn’t be able to do that. Living life with a purpose gives direction. Having a direction helps with the choices that must be made. Because Jesus is my example I know the importance of having a Christian purpose to live for. A great goal glorifying God is worth more than anyone can imagine. My hero points me to the right path. Jesus possessed so many good qualities that it is hard to write about all of them. I pray that one day I can be as compassionate, purposeful and loving as he was. 1 John 4:19 says, “We can love, because he first loved us.” Jesus is my hero.
DRAGON EYES By Caroline Shook, 7th grade Legacy Prep The Woodlands, TX www.legacypca.org
Not Only a Child By Lillian Skye, 9th grade Veritas Academy Largo, FL www.veritas-ircs.org
I feel like the Lord has called me to be a witness for Him and the verses in Jeremiah truly are my life verses. I’m hoping that other people will be inspired to witness to nonbelievers through my poem and His Word.
I Feel Blessed to Attend a UMS By Jenna Williams, 7th grade Legacy Prep The Woodlands, TX www.legacypca.org
The Lord my God said to me:“You are not just a mere child, Go to who I will send you, You are not just meek and mild.”
here are many schools to choose from – public, charter, homeschool, private – but the one I prefer and would recommend to anyone is a University-Model School (UMS). I currently go to a Christian UMS school (Legacy Prep) and love it. As a college prep school, UMS helps students understand what college will be like. Both teachers and staff incorporate God into the lessons and make sure everyone understands the true meaning of Christianity and how to defend your faith out in the world. A UMS works on a college-type schedule and offers advanced courses in the subject areas. In some traditional schools teachers and staff cannot express their beliefs in God and Christianity with the attending students. But Christian UMS schools prepare you for college, as well as teach from a biblical worldview. The schedule of a UMS school also promotes self-motivation to study and prepare on my own. Typically a UMS school will meet two or three days a week for instruction. The UMS student will then work and study independently, or with parental support, the other days. I thoroughly enjoy going to a Christian UMS school and hope to continue and finish in one.
Though friends might scoff and leave you, And alone you just might be, With My Word inside your mouth, You shall take the Truth to thee. Appointed over nations, I want you to plant my Word, Fear not the one who threatens, I won’t let you go unheard. Though you may still be a child, That doesn’t mean you can’t go, And help advance my kingdom, Through faithfulness it will grow.
ATTENTION STUDENTS We Need Your Submissions! Share your writing, art, and photographic talents with UMS Journal by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. March-April 2011
10 Tips for Using Facebook as a Tool for Your School By Belinda Henson Principal Destiny Christian Academy
eter F. Drucker said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” In the age of fast paced, get-quick information and moment-bymoment decision making, marketing for our schools has to follow accordingly. How do we do this when our budgets for marketing are so small? Purchasing addresses and snail mailing cards are expensive and even their salespeople will tell you to purchase less names and send at least three times, instead of purchasing lots of names and sending only once. Email lists are worse. The best quotes I found were 4,500 names for $800, and then you get put into that “spam” category. So our solution has been Facebook. It is not only great for marketing, but also for school morale and upto-date information. Here are ten ways we use Facebook to promote our school. If you are interested in using Facebook to promote your school, go to www.facebook.com/adsmarketing. It will walk you through the process step by step.
Information – The information tab details our mission statement and general information. It shows times we are open and is an excellent preview of what our website has to offer.
Events – By creating events (field trip days or important school events), families can RSVP and administrators have a quick and accurate way to prepare.
Photos – On our school application, parents must sign whether or not they will let their children’s pictures be used for school functions. Photos allow parents and grandparents to capture the pictures for their own needs. They also show potential families how much fun we have learning!
Announcements – We use it for announcements like school closings or parental reminders. We also announce new class openings, job openings and new faculty!
Parents – Our parents are able to log on and have an immediate voice! Their comments encourage other parents, as well as provide authentic marketing to potential families.
Facebook Ads – This is something we just recently started tat Destiny Christian Academy. These ads can be purchased and they will be placed on the right side of Facebook pages according to your chosen criteria. For instance, one of our criteria was Haslet, Texas with a 25 mile radius. We chose to limit our ad to $42 for our first month, but you can spend as much as $50 a day on this feature.
Discussions – The discussion board is an easy place to field opinions for future field trips or other nottoo personal suggestions for the school.
Likes – With the new layout, there is a section for “Likes”. Here you can help promote other organizations that your school supports. These can be groups such as the church who hosts you or even a non-profit that your students serve often.
TECH HEAD Clayton Harrell, Dean of Student Life at Logos Prep in Katy, Texas, is an unapologetic Tech Head. THESE GADGETS RULE MY WORLD
Social Plug-Ins – These are those “Like” buttons that you can add to your school’s own website. Facebook says it best: They are “embeddable social features that can be integrated in your site with a line of HTML. Because they are hosted by Facebook, the plugins are personalized for all users who are currently logged into Facebook, even if they are visiting your site for the first time.”
Assessment – Facebook provides administrators with a quick, informal assessment of who is interested in the school and what the parents are talking about concerning the school. Facebook has a feature that weekly emails me a report on the amount of activity (clicks, new users, etc.), as well as graphs to provide feedback on the productivity of the advertising. We find it a valuable tool in today’s digital world of social networking. UMS
Destiny Christian: Just the Facts Location: Haslet, Texas
FAVORITE PHONE APPS
I don’t really have any. Now my kids, on the other hand, love to download as many games as possible until my phone can’t handle anymore. Here are the ones they like to play • Bubble Blast • Deer Hunter • Fruit Slice • Memory • NinJump • Papertoss
FAVORITE IPAD APPS
• The Weather Channel Max+ • Fox News • ESPN ScoreCenterXL • QuickOffice • Numbers • Pages • Keynote • NASB Bible+
FAVORITE PROGRAMS FOR WORK
We use Word, Excel, Keynote (Mac), and Numbers (Mac).
FAVORITE PROGRAMS FOR PLAY
I don’t get to play much, but, again, my kids love to play these games on the iPad: • iFootball • Paper Toss • Horse Frenzy • iHunt 3D • Snowman Lite • Madden NFL • Fruit Slice HD • Real SkiJump
YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THESE SITES! Why, www.logosprep.com, of course!
Doors Opened: 2010
Are you a Tech Head? Or do you know someone at your school who is? Let us know at email@example.com
Current Grades Levels: Pre-K through 7th Website: www.dcalions.org March-April 2011
Droid Incredible Phone with Verizon. We’re waiting until our contract runs out to get an iPhone. Also: • MacBook Pro • 24’’ Inch monitor • iPad
Cargill Takes Over at Kingâ€™s Academy New Administrator brings social, academic, and spiritual growth to Texas school By Jonathan Baggs KACS, 10th Grade
ll last summer, the Board of King’s Academy Christian School (KACS) in Tyler, Texas, searched for a new administrator. The Lord finally answered their prayers, leading them to Mr. Kenny Cargill. Cargill was born number five in a family of six children. He grew up outside the city of Houston, where he was called into the ministry at age12. He preached his first sermon at age 16 and became active in the ministry at age 19. Cargill went to college at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he obtained a Master’s degree in Religious Education. He went on to become a student minister and pastor for several years. God led him to become the new administrator at King’s Academy. His goals for the school are to expand the scope socially, academically, and spiritually. Some of the ways he plans to do this are through service and mission projects, an active sports program, and a strong Bible curriculum to go along with the core subjects. His favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Cargill wants the students to know how
excited he is to be here. He really makes an effort to get to know the students individually. His ideas and initiatives on behalf of KACS are already making a difference, and the entire school family is excited for the future.
Inaugural Ladies Retreat is a Hit King’s Academy had its first Ladies Retreat in late January. They were blessed to have Shannon Ethridge along to minister to the group. Ethridge is a best-selling author, speaker, lay counselor, and advocate for healthy sexuality. She obtained a master’s degree in counseling and human relations from Liberty University. She is the author of 18 books, including the best-selling Every Woman’s Battle series, the five-book Completely His series, and her new book that’s out on the mainstream market, The Sexually Confident Wife. Ethridge led the ladies through a time of discussion, role playing, and teaching on Seasons of Motherhood. This event was a prelude to KACS hosting a mother/daughter retreat next fall. King’s Academy desires to strengthen the family by providing opportunities to grow the parent’s spiritually. The moms were enthusiastic about the retreat experience. “The women’s retreat was a time of great
food, fellowship and fun,” said Johanna Cox. “To be in the company of like-minded women, eating great food (that we didn’t have to prepare!) was blessing enough, but to sit under Shannon’s teaching was icing on the cake. I was only able to attend the Friday session, but am glad I did. It was so good to be reminded of how we can actively encourage spirituality in our precious children, and convicting to see the areas I have failed in numerous times. I want to thank Shannon for her wonderful teaching and to Erin and Renee for the loving preparation of the weekend.” Cheryl Murtha also agreed that it was a wonderful experience. “We got to know each other a little better through games and meaningful interaction. Although the focus was on helping our kids to become healthy adults, we also revisited our lives, and were given much “food for thought” by Shannon. We came away with new tools for evaluating communication, relationships and the grace that is always needed with both.” KACS also recently hosted a Father’s Boot Camp in February, which is the prelude to next year’s planned father/son retreat. How grateful we are that the University Model promotes partnership with the parents, not only in academics, but in the spiritual development of our children. UMS
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Cornerstone Entrepreneurs Break the Bank with Breakfast Business By Sharon Beaner Cornerstone Prep Academy www.cornerstoneprep.org
ornerstone Preparatory Academy (CPA) in Acworth, Georgia, recently added Entrepreneurship to its list of high school electives. The semesterlong class was comprised of five boys, four of them seniors and one junior. The objectives of the class were to teach the students the basics of starting a business, expose them to the growing entrepreneurial market, and provide practical application. To accomplish these goals, the students formed a partnership, created a business plan, and started their own food business called Generally Breakfast. The students got the idea from their own lives: a group of teen-aged business partners who are typically hungry and who rarely eat before coming to school. If that was the case for them, they reasoned that other students (and staff) were in the same boat. Their slogan reflected the heart behind the business: â€œA healthier alternative for busy families.â€? For 30 minutes on Monday and Friday mornings, Generally Breakfast sell breakfast biscuits, pastries, fruit, and a beverage. Their prices are cheaper than most fast-food chains and the location (school) was ideal. While they may not acquire the wealth of wellknown entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates or Walt Disney, their motivation is not to amass riches. Rather, it is to learn from the experience and provide quality food to their customers for the least amount of money. Generally Breakfastâ€™s sales have been impressive. The partners conduct a weekly business meeting to go over sales and set future marketing and sales strategies. The first day of business, they sold 75% of their products, and have since continued to show impressive sales. By the end of the first semester, less than two months into the business, they had already realized a 119% increase over their original investment. Impressive! Recent trends show a rise in sales and a new spring marketing strategy is helping it continue. Through applying what they are learning in class, these students are gaining valuable experience that will last a lifetime. UMS
The Generally Breakfast crew with their menu (above) and set up for sales (below).