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Person-to-Person Activities

Person-to-person activities bring the human element into your educational outreach efforts. The addition of person-to-person activities, powered by an educational outreach manager or partners making actual contact with your target audience, can make a measurable difference in whether your project succeeds.

Educators have busy schedules, and many lack expertise in using media and technology. Simply providing them with a program and teacher's guide may not be enough to make educators change the way they are currently teaching. Hands-on experiences, such as workshops and conferences where you model effective usage of your project's resources, will help educators understand how to integrate those resources into their work, making it more likely that they'll use them, and use them well.

It is also important to remember that educators work in isolation. They don't have a co-worker to provide feedback as they try to integrate a new strategy into their classrooms. As you design your materials, promote opportunities for educators to work with each other. This will help teachers to be more successful and therefore continue to use your program materials as part of their curriculum.

Characteristics of Person-to-Person Activities
  • Person-to-person activities lead to deeper, more long-term involvement. Educators are more likely to engage with your project if they are trained and supported. Post-training support can be as important as the training itself, as educators try to integrate new information into their current practice. You must take post-training support into account when planning your person-to-person activities.

  • Person-to-person activities help you achieve depth, but not breadth, of distribution. Overall, hands-on educational outreach is not cost-effective if viewed in terms of the number of audience members reached per dollar spent (compared, for example, to the number of Web visitors per dollar spent). The impact for those audience members, however, can be significantly deeper and longer lasting.

  • Person-to-person activities can have a broader impact if they work both top-down and bottom-up. For example, you can build a national partnership with an organization that will promote your project's resources widely to your target audience. At the same time, you can also facilitate hands-on training with a subset of this group.

  • Person-to-person activities can accomplish the broadest reach if they are replicable. Train-the-trainer models -- where you train members of your target audience to train others or to build partnerships and run events locally -- allow you to extend your impact well beyond the reach of your own outreach staffers.

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