By Julie Rains

Maize PAT is currently using Facebook as a fun, effective way to communicate with our parents in our program. Along with offering a “Free Tip” each week, we also add photos from playgroups and big events. We invite/encourage parents to share their own ideas and pictures there as well! We let the parents know not only about things going on in OUR program but things going on in the community that are free/low cost/fun for the family. It has also been a wonderful way for us to recruit parent support when needed. We can go to this one central location rather than sending out an email. When it’s time to ‘rally the troops’ and ask for them to help our voices be heard in Topeka, making a simple post with direct links available for contact has been a super way to make this happen!

One of the things I really love about our page is that it is set up as a ‘private’ group that parents have to request to be added to. This really seems to keep down any ‘sales’ or ‘spamming’ that might normally occur. It also makes parents feel a little more secure about the photos being shared. We make sure at our home visits that parents know about our page, are consistently checking it for updates and that they let their friends and family know about it as well. We give them labels attached to the handouts we leave that have a direct link on how to search for our page and request to be added.