Introduction From Cerys Keneally
In my recent TEDx talk, “Can We Future-Proof Our Communities By Sharing Skills With Schools?” I shared a personal journey of overcoming shyness and finding confidence and creativity through extra-curricular activities outside of school. I highlighted the importance of reaching out to schools and offering our skills and passions to enrich the education of children – the future citizens of our communities. It’s a sad fact that the UK’s poorest children are 3 times more likely to miss out on extra-curricular activities but we can reach them through funded opportunities in education.
In this blog, I delve deeper into the idea of collaboration and how not just children’s activity providers but members of the wider community can make a difference in their local schools while securing personal fulfilment and/or business growth.
The Power of Collaboration
As I mentioned in my talk, people with a range of skills and interests can collaborate with schools to provide unique, impactful experiences for pupils. In the Approaching Schools Academy, I don’t just work with children’s activity providers – entertainers, therapists, coaches, trainers, product sellers and volunteers can all work with schools and nurseries too.
Partnering with schools or nurseries offers an opportunity to address real challenges faced by the children who need us the most, such as access to extra-curricular activities, mental health intervention, and the need for creative and entrepreneurial skills. In my renowned Approaching Schools Challenge, thousands of business owners learn to position themselves as problem solvers so that selling to schools becomes the next logical step.
A partnership is a win-win situation. While you contribute to enriching pupils’ education, you also gain personal satisfaction and business growth through the process. Many of my Approaching Schools Academy members report having built a more stable income stream for their businesses by partnering with schools and they’ve also noticed a knock-on impact of growth in their community classes as a result. What keeps them motivated is that they’re changing the lives of other children as well as their own.
Who Can Collaborate with Schools?
Entrepreneurs can offer their expertise to schools, whether it’s teaching financial literacy, entrepreneurship skills, or sharing their success stories. This is a great opportunity to fulfil your corporate, social responsibility as well as raising brand awareness within the communities you serve. Parents are more likely to use your business if you’ve been endorsed by their children’s school.
People in various professions can lead workshops or clubs related to their expertise, contributing to pupils’’ cognitive development and problem-solving abilities. This could even be a great way of leaving your 9-5 job and growing a business teaching what you already know. We get a lot of former teachers in the Approaching Schools Academy, for example.
Artists, musicians, dancers, and writers can inspire pupils through their passions, fostering creativity and self-expression. This can be a fantastic additional income stream and often helps schools by complimenting their existing offering, enriching topic work and delivering expertise for special events.
Impact Education, One Collaboration at a Time
Collaboration with schools can lead to healthier and more resilient communities by addressing youth mental health issues and promoting emotional well-being. I always say to my Approaching Schools Academy members, no matter what activity or service you provide, we are all in the business of child well-being.
By sharing life experiences and values, children’s activity providers have a real opportunity to inspire responsible citizenship, contributing to safer and more conscientious communities. This is more important than ever when parallels have recently been made between youth services being cut and knife crime being on the increase.
Encouraging creativity and entrepreneurship in schools can help nurture the next generation of innovative leaders and problem solvers. It’s on the UK government’s agenda right now and children’s activity providers have a real opportunity to play a role in positive change for the country’s future.
Just Take the First Step
Contact your local schools and offer to demonstrate how you can deliver positive outcomes for pupils with impact for the school or nursery. Discuss how your skills or passion can help solve problems head teachers tend to face by aligning with the relevant curriculum. If you come on our next Approaching Schools Challenge, you’ll learn exactly how to craft your very own high-converting email or letter template that you can send out to schools or nurseries straight away.
Start small with one service to gauge the impact and refine your approach. Gradually expand your involvement by upselling or cross-selling your services as you build trust and rapport with the school. In the Approaching Schools Academy, I recommend starting with a free assembly, mini workshop or demonstration lesson so you can gather feedback, demonstrate how you’re different to anything they could deliver in-house and then offer your ongoing packages for lasting partnerships once you know how you can really help a school with what they need.
The sentiments I shared in my TEDx talk underscore the transformative power of partnering with schools and nurseries. By offering your skills, passions, and expertise to local education settings, you can empower children, enhance their learning experiences, and contribute to building healthier, more responsible, and creative communities. Imagine a world where every child is actually excited to go to school and the positive impact that could bring. How amazing would it feel to be a part of that change?
You can watch the TEDx talk in full at www.ceryskeneally.com/about
Cerys Keneally is an award-winning trainer and speaker for the children’s activity industry. Drawing on 20 years of A.C.E. experience in Activities, Coaching and Education, Cerys has inspired over 4000 children’s activity providers to grow their businesses via her Approaching Schools Challenges and trains over 100 providers per year to earn a more stable income and have a bigger impact on children’s lives via her pioneering, CPD accredited Approaching Schools Academy programme. Find out more and download your free guide at www.ceryskeneally.com