Would It Hurt You to Be In Touch? Knitting Nana and Grampa into Your School’s Social Network
Jewish day schools go meshuggene over Grandparents—once a year. On Grandparents Day, they swing open the school doors and shout, “Bruchim Habaim, Nana and Grampa, Bubbe and Zayde, Savta and Saba!”
The rest of the time? Not so much.
It’s not that schools are purposefully neglecting the grandparents… it’s just during the course of the year they’re busy educating children, running Board meetings, pitching prospective donors, giving school tours, and convening PTA meetings and bake sales and trivia nights and such—with the parents.
But don’t you think it makes sense to establish a longer-term relationship with grandparents? That it might be beneficial to include them regularly in your school communications? To give them a voice in your conversations?
Smart schools integrate their students’ parents’ parents’ into the mix far more often than one day a year. And, guess what, I have an easy and practical idea for how your school can do so. It’s all about (surprise, surprise) Social Media!
And don’t tell me that seniors are too set in their ways to get in on the big social convo.
It’s just not true.
As All Facebook tells us: “Senior citizens are the fastest growing segment of Facebook users in the U.S., and could number 55 million by 2020, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.” And Mashable reports that, according to one study, one fifth of grandparents use social networks.
Of course, you may have to work with your grandparents a bit to acclimate them to the JDS social sphere, but don’t worry. These folks have time on their hands—and we’re talking about something they love: their very own grandchildren. Give them the chance to kvell online, and kvell they will.
- Grampblogging. There actually are grandparents who love to write—and who might be happy to do so on your school’s blog. If you have grandparent/writers in your community, recruit them! Even better: you could have an inter-generational blogging session. Have your grandparents engage in dueling blogs with their grandchildren and/or children. A great chance to show your community that you’re all about l’dor v’dor online.
- Put your silver citizens on the silver screen. Shoot some video in which your grandparents say, simply, why they love day school. Here’s an example! You might record a number of these videos at a StoryCorps-style event. Invite a bunch of grandparents for lox and bagels and hire a videographer to tape them talking about their own Jewish education—as well as the education of their children and grandchildren.
- Get them to guest tweet. This will obviously involve some tech-savvy grandmas and grandpas. They’re out there. Sign them up for a week of Tweeting.
- Make Friends with your grandparents. Try and sign up a certain number of grandparents to your Facebook page by the date of your Grandparents Day! To sweeten the pot, have a well-heeled grandparent sponsor the event so that each new grandparental Like adds, say, $10 to the school’s scholarship fund. The paradigm for this kind of campaign is here.
- When I was your age! Post pictures—or even digitized home movies—on your school’s Facebook page of grandparents when they were kids. Sure to be a crowd-pleaser.