Preschool teacher Jenny Harrington and I collaborated this fall to use a free service, MailChimp.com, to send e-newsletters to parents of children enrolled in the Little Eagles Preschool program. The parents receive three emails a week, or one for every day class is in session. This is a fun way for them to see what activities their son or daughter has completed that day!Jenny’s high school students are responsible for developing the content for the newsletter in the form of short stories and photographs. Once they become more familiar with the program, they also might link to files that contain directions on how to do a craft they did in class. Exciting stuff!
“Since this preschool course is preparing students for a career in education, it is important to give them real life examples of what they may be doing in their future endeavors,” Jenny said. “Since most communication in education is now done electronically, Kellie Doyle helped me find a way to send out an e-newsletter using MailChimp. This gives students experience in corresponding with parents and helps them fine tune their writing skills. So far it has been extremely user friendly and students have enjoyed their experience.”
Jenny and I worked together to design a template. It looks a little something like this:
MailChimp.com is nice because you can choose from a variety of templates and then customize them a bit to meet your needs. We kept our template simple with one column.
To add subscribers, simply create a list of their email addresses in MailChimp. After the emails send, you can take a peak at the analytics, like who opened the email and where they clicked inside of the email.
Now that I have a bit of a marketing background, I was able to share best practices in creating e-newsletters with Jenny’s two classes before we even got started—tips on writing and photography and more. This was an important first step.
Mailchimp.com might be a good resource for coaches, activity sponsors, and others who often communicate messages with parents in bulk. However, teachers might enjoy sending regular e-newsletters to parents, too! Maybe, like Jenny’s classes, your students could even assume some of the responsibility for helping to pull together content.