Maize PAT Facebook Use

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.

Keystone Facebook Experience

By Jennifer Shipp

I created a Facebook page specifically for the PAT program in my school district.
It is a great way to connect and share information with parents of young
children. With every mailing that is sent out to families, I include a note
inviting them to come and “like” our page. After a family has “liked” our page,
our status updates will begin to show up in their news feed. I have had parents
comment to me that they were so happy I had posted an event on Facebook because
otherwise they would have forgotten to come. I also like to share things I come
across online that I feel would be beneficial to parents of young children. Some
examples of things I like to share are community events, recent recalls on
infant products, parent-child activities and parenting tips on topics like
nutrition and car seat safety. I feel like Facebook is a great way to connect
with families.

How I Use Twitter

By: KPATA President – Callie Benton

@Twitter has become a great tool for me for #connecting and #communicating. Most of the time I just read tweets and if you are reading to the right conversations, you can really learn a lot. At first Twitter was a way to keep in touch with friends and family. I also use Twitter to direct people, from all different parts of my life, to my websites, facebook, linkedin, and blogs. Twitter is a great tool for #advocacy and to increase #awareness of issues I am passionate about.

Following the current events around my interests is one of my favorite things about twitter. I don’t have to listen to an hour long news broadcast of sad news. On twitter, I direct the types of news updates I want by following the topics I am interested in.

Twitter is fast paced and I love that. In Parents As Teachers we are programmed to only sit still for one hour! I can send a quick tweet and thousands of people are notified on the information. (Tweets can then direct them to the full story if needed. )

Callie Benton 
callie_benton@usd368.org 
@CallieBenton