Initiative Kickoff Campaign

The Ready-for-fifth Kickoff Campaign is intended to ensure maximum awareness of and support for the Initiative from many perspectives.  It is intended to:

  1. maximize the number of 4th grade teachers that pledge to do all they can to get close to 100% of their students to near 100% grade level mastery in math by the end of the school year (and wear the colored wristband as a symbol and daily reminder of that pledge)
  2. maximize the number of 4th graders that pledge to do all they can to achieve the 100% mastery goal by the end of the school year (and wear the colored wristband as a symbol and daily reminder of that pledge).
  3. maximize the number of learning tool and enabling technology providers that pledge to do all they can to ensure no student is hindered in their pursuit of the 100% mastery goal due to lack of access to needed learning and technology resources.
  4. maximize the number of volunteers to be mentor/tutors.
  5. maximize the number of, and the depth of participation in, local community support organizations.

The kickoff campaign is intended to be intense for a relatively short period of a few weeks.  The strategy is to literally bombard the public from multiple directions simultaneously so that the various publicity initiatives are mutually supportive and promoting.

  1. Saturating Media Campaign: This is a multi-week  campaign intended to get everyone involved in education talking about the initiative for several days just prior to the call to action.  It should not be possible for teachers, students, parents, politicians, people concerned about education to tiurn anywhere without hearing or seeing something related to the initiative.
    1. Initial Media Event: This is the initial notification of the media about the initiative.  For the most part this consist of public challenges to a series of participants.  We are currently looking at 2 strategies for this event:
      1. a press conference that would include all the VIPs we can attract that would announce the initiative and express their support for the initiative (and perhaps some measures for making the initiative a success).  This would also include public challenges to many other personalities and organizations to encourage them to also get behind the initiative.
      2. a major city rally by a very large number of teenagers publicly challenging the various parties to stand up and finally do something meaningful to improve education quickly.  (E.g. a thousand students gather in front of the cameras of the morning TV shows in NY and issue the public challenges.  They would also challenge the general public to join them in improving the US education and thereby the economy and society in general.  Ideally, a number of well-known VIPs would step forward from the crowd and announce their support and some measures they are starting to make the initiative a success.)
    2. Reinforcing Media Events: These are a series of media events intended to get the press to essentially report, “Wow, we thought we had seen it all re. this initiative, but it just keeps growing and growing and growing.”
      1. Challenge Rallies: This might include having almost a competition among the youth and others in major cities to see which can create the most impressive rally in support of the initiative and reinforcing the public personal challenge to all kinds of leaders and organizations to join in and make the initiative a success. (E.g. in the days following the initial kickoff in New York, there could be similar large youth rallies in Chicago, LA, Houston, Atlanta, etc. thereby giving the media something new to report about every day for a few days.)
      2. Challenge Press Conferences/Releases: This might include significant organizations and personalities announcing their support for the initiative reiterating the challenges of the initiative to teachers, students and others and challenging others (by name?) to also join in in improving education nationwide.
      3. Endorsing Press Conferences/Releases/Ads: This might include announcements by corporations or anyone encouraging teachers, students and others to join the initiative and pointing out why it is so important for the country and perhaps even announcing additional measures to support the initiative.
  2. National Communication Campaign: This calls for the national and regional offices of associations and other kinds of organizations with a network of local affiliates or members calling on those local affiliates to get involved and providing them with concrete suggestions for doing so.  This includes service clubs, religious organizations, youth organizations, student organizations, teachers’ associations, National Chambers of Commerce, National PTA, etc.
    1. National Mass Appeal Campaign: (e.g. press conferences/releases or advertisements appealing to members/affiliates or simply those that think similarly among the masses).  This can also include web sites of the applicable organization, blogs, etc.
    2. National Direct Communication Campaign: direct mailings or newsletters from national offices or many organizations to the local affiliates and members encouraging them to actively support the initiative.
  3. Local Communication Campaign: This aspect of this project consists of local supporters and advocates of the initiative creating a communication blitz to local political, business, education, religious, etc., leaders letting them know that the educational initiative they are hearing about nationally is also local.  For the most part, we look to high school students that are part of the nationwide youth activist network to play a major role in this letter writing campaign.  We expect this project to include providing these advocates with suggested communications strategies and draft content.
  4. Media Update Campaign: This aspect of this project consists of keeping media at all levels informed of pledge successes in a way that will encourage them to continue to spread the word about the initiative.
    1. Local Reporter Campaign: Getting a number of local high school or college students or someone else to serve as local reporters about the initiative.  They would ensure the local successes in getting teachers and students and community leaders to pledge is noticed and as many people as possible can share the bragging rights.  It would also include examples of anyone creating situations that hinder the ability of local students to achieve the 100% mastery goal.  We hope that this effort will be co-sponsored by national associations of local newspapers and others.

Belts & Suspenders

This project is based on the concept of “belts & suspenders.”  Basically this means that we will be encouraging many varied efforts by many advocating entities with the expectation that a number of these may not succeed or only partially succeed.  In other words, even if a relatively small number of these publicity initiatives succeed to some degree, it will probably be enough to get a significant number of teachers, students and others to pledge and very large numbers of people to volunteer to become mentor/tutors.  As more and more reports of local pledge successes are published we expect more teachers and others to join the pledge movement.

The Pledge Process

The above publicity efforts are intended to put teachers, students and others in the mood to participate in the initiative (pledge to do their respective thing).  The actual pledge process still has to take place.  For the moment we will assume that the teacher has made their pledge to do their best to get all their students to the 100% mastery goal and everyone is now focused on getting the students to pledge to put in personal effort to get to the 100% mastery goal (the students are pledging to take personal responsibility to putting in the work to get themselves to the goal).  The following is one possible scenario for getting almost all students to pledge to personally put in the effort and to wear a colored wristband as a symbol and daily reminder of their pledge.

  1. A motivational video is made available on the internet informing students of the details of the initiative and encouraging them to put in the effort and letting them know how succeeding in the initiative can benefit them.  Ideally this video will include statements by some highly recognized personalities that will gain student attention.
  2. Teachers are encouraged to take part of a class and make a pledge campaign event.
  3. School administrators, community leaders, high school students and others are encouraged to attend the class during the pledge campaign to emphasize the importance of this event.
  4. Students are given the opportunity to sign a pledge sheet with a lot of fanfare (e.g. perhaps given a fancy certificate showing that they have pledged that can be put on a display wall in the class).  Students should also be given the colored wristband that will be a daily reminder (and can be used to remind them of their pledge) as well as wristbands and a letter to take home to their parents, etc.

Getting started:

It is intended that a special team will take on this project and start the reach-out campaign to appropriate potential partner organizations in the near future.  If you would like to be part of this team, or if you are affiliated with an organization that is involved in encouraging education or improving the local community and would like to find out more about the initiative or how you could be involved, please contact us at one of the following addresses:

Thank you for your interest in improving education and the future prospects of our society.