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Defining Audience & Goals

As you refine your program's goals, structure, and content, you will also be developing your educational outreach plan. Before you can proceed, you must first define the goals, objectives, and audience for your educational outreach elements. What audience(s) would you like to reach, and what messages, experience, or content do you want them to come away with or master?

Goals define the ultimate purpose of your project. They tend to be abstract and broad in scope. For example, your goal may be to improve children's literacy skills or to increase children's awareness and appreciation of the diversity in their community.

Objectives, on the other hand, are more specific and concrete. They describe what you believe you can reasonably achieve through your project. For example, in a program built on an underlying literacy curriculum, you might state that "kindergarten and first-grade students will improve their phonemic awareness" or "be more interested in reading books." You can later use your evaluation to measure how effectively you've reached your objectives.

An integral part of defining your goals and objectives is determining your target audience(s). You can't define one without the other. In fact, you must have a well-defined target audience in order to know what content to develop and how best to get it to those you want to reach.

Keep your goals, objectives, and audience as focused as possible. While you may decide to target more than one audience through different elements of your plan, you run the risk of overextending your limited resources. This is especially true when the interests of different funders tempt you to develop potentially incompatible goals and target audiences. Children's continuing series offer a unique opportunity to build and expand your outreach audiences over time. You don't have to reach everybody the first season.

In this section:
>  Defining Audience
    & Goals

    Collaborating with

    Educational Content

    Choosing Appropriate

    & Scheduling

    Rights Needs

    Evaluating Your Efforts

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