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March 2016 – Connecting with Public and Private Schools – A Key to Victory


In last month’s Ask the Experts, Mr. Silverman suggested that I try to “get in” with the public and private schools. Can you please ask him to elaborate more on how I do so? I’m sure that this would be very beneficial. I could use some help on how to get started.

Joy, Denver

Joy and everyone else interested in connecting with local schools,

If you teach children then connecting with your local schools is one of the most important things you can do. There are only so many schools in your area. You need to be the martial arts school that connects. Don’t lose this ideal position to a competitor. Your competitors may come in before you, making it much tougher to connect as an additional martial arts school. You have to battle your competitors for students. All the kids are in school so that is where you want to be. Usually, whoever is connected WINS!

This is a very involved and extremely important topic. One that we will discuss often.

This is what I would do first, ask the parents of your students if any of them are connected with any schools. Like for instance; do they work at a school? Do any know a principal or other school official? Are any members of the PTA? And so forth. You get the idea. A parent on the PTA or one that knows a school official is the best and easiest way to get started.

Don Prue

Answer: Frank Silverman, Executive Director of Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA)

This is a very good question. It truly is important to be involved with the local schools. Why? If you have 100 students and 80 are children they all have one thing in common- they- attend school (public, private or home schooled). Since the vast majority are public or private we want to “partner” with like businesses (and yes, schools are businesses). There are two ways to get involved: ask and receive and build relationships. First, asked and receive is simple. Not to over complicate things but simply asking the local schools if you can pass out flyers, be part of career day, host PE teacher for a day are all very possible and often easy to get approved. Become a “dividend” or “partner in education and ask if these are items you can do. If the answer is no, then you need to do the “build the relationship approach.” We do this by giving before asking. First, again, become a partner or dividend (it may go by a different name) and offer to: donate a free month of classes for honor roll students, help direct traffic on the first and last days of school, bring donuts for the teachers at the school on a teacher work day, judge contest; ask how you can help. This method in tougher school districts could take a bit, years, but it is an effective way to get involved. Eventually, you will be able to ask for what you would like. Now the question is what do you want? You want to be able to market or offer free classes to students. I say free as it often takes away one objection from the schools so offering a free week is better than offering a discount. If all this fails, consider “pay to play”. Offer to pay to print the school newsletter in exchange for an ad it in or ask if they allow paid ads. Items like the foregoing are a good method to getting involved in public and private schools.

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