As Family and Consumer Sciences teachers we have seen the loss of FCS teaching jobs, the closing of FCS programs in districts across the state, and the closing of university programs for FCS teacher education. We have assumed someone would come along and recognize the importance of what we teach and how valuable our content is for students today. We have not always been our own best advocate and now we are faced with the reality that unless we act now, FCS in Ohio will continue its decline and there may be no way to turn things around.
So, join us in the work to sustain FCS across Ohio!
OATFACS and OAFCS have pooled their resources to hire "The Impact Group," a PR/Marketing firm from Hudson, OH, to help develop strategies to turn the tide and change perceptions of the value FCS has for students in today’s world.
So, here is the part where you rise to the challenge and get involved!
The first task is to attend one of five Focus Group meetings planned across the state. You need to bring others with you who are willing to share their perceptions about Family and Consumer Sciences as this will be the basis for developing the marketing strategies. Invite principals, supervisors, superintendents, school board members, guidance counselors, state legislators, university admissions counselors, parents and/or students. We need people in the group who favor FCS but more importantly we need people who have no real knowledge about it and especially, those who may not favor FCS. I know this is a challenge and perhaps even a bit uncomfortable but the reality is we cannot change the perception of FCS if we don’t understand what other people think and why they feel a certain way.
This meeting is not about collecting views of FCS teachers. So if you do not plan to bring guests, we prefer to hear from you at another time. Please know how critical it is that you invite and accompany these guests. If you each bring at least one person, though we hope it is 2 or 3, it will be a good start to meeting our minimum of 20 people per meeting. Dates and locations can be found in the column on the left.
Click here for a sample memo that you may adapt to invite participants. You can copy and paste the date and location from the list of Focus Groups. Also insert the RSVP deadline for the respective date and location. All are 6:00-7:30 pm. While the invitation is good, I think your personal request will be the key to people agreeing to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.
Send RSVP’s to Nathan Mellor (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Impact Group. You may RSVP for yourself and your guest(s) noting the name and role (teacher, Extension agent, principal, counselor, parent, etc.) of each or your guest(s) may RSVP separately.
Please step forward and be part of this process.
“If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.” ― Eldridge Cleaver
The OATFACS Board cannot do this without you and every other FCS teacher in the state. Please don’t assume someone else will be attending the focus group so it won’t matter if you don’t invite people to attend. Please don’t tell yourself that you only have a year or so before retirement so it isn’t really your problem. Instead, feel the strength that comes from being involved and working together. Commit to doing your part to ensure that FCS is seen as viable and necessary for Ohio students.
Click here to contact Kelley Smith to volunteer, ask questions or get additional information.