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Getting parents out to school functions

Parents at school

When offering a parenting night to educate them on certain topics we find that schools offer it less each year. They’ll have an anti-bullying parenting night and 5 parents show up.

Doing hundreds of parenting nights we have found the examples below to be some of the best ways to get parents out.


Raffles- they can purchase tickets for a small amount (ex.50 cents at ticket) and/or they fill out a ballot when they arrive and you draw their names. They must attend the presentation in order to qualify for a prize. DRAW WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE END OF THE PRESENTATION.

IDEAS FOR PRIZES – free tickets to the movies; Starbucks gift certificate; Walmart gift certificate, have one Grand prize – a bike or a school supply package…

Ask local businesses for prize donations.


Serve coffee/tea, cookies/muffins OR

Have a pizza dinner, serve pop/coffee/juice, and for dessert cookies/muffins. For families who are on the run and busy then they can bring their family and have dinner then the kids go off to babysitting in the classroom. You may want to charge a small amount per family–$5. Or $10. Families will need to reply with a headcount prior to attending so you will know how much food you will need…etc.

Ask local coffee businesses for donations of coffee/ coffee urns/ and pizza businesses for pizza and donut shops for donuts…etc. Or ask parents/staff to bring baked goods.


Get teachers or older students to babysit children in the classroom during the parent session. Separate them by grades ex. K-2, 3-4… Get a headcount prior to the evening so you will know how many teachers/older students will be needed.


Ask families to bring in one perishable food item for the local food bank


Ask families to bring in a small bag of old used clothing to donate to a local shelter


Ask families to bring in baked goods to sell- have multiple tables


Ask families to bring in crafts- have multiple craft tables


This approach worked well in California. They had so much trouble getting parents out to events that they told the students that day, if their parents showed up to the anti-bullying presentation they would receive one free no homework pass. That night we had over 200 parents show up and the majority of them said that their child made them go.



Read More: Parents at School policies on bullying by Jim Jordan