Ways to reach out and find interested families include:
- Make a public announcement through social media, community and parenting blogs, letters, flyers, posters, or word of mouth that you are looking for people who are interested in helping you to create a dual-language program in a specific language.
- Look for existing community networks of businesses, religious centers, community centers, and children who are native speakers of another language within the parameters of your school district.
- Distribute a letter or flyer when you attend meetings or give presentations.
- Contact local preschools and daycare centers, Head-Start programs, private schools, language schools, cultural centers, religious institutions, parent associations, and city agencies that support families.
- Engage in conversations with parentsat local playgrounds, in stores, at supermarkets, and in schools where families might be looking for options for younger siblings.
- Wear clothes, hats, or badges that will pique other parents’ curiosity.
Once your group has gathered enough volunteers, you can start organizing committees to divide up the various tasks. Several committees can be organized, including: a community outreach committee, a school location committee, and a curriculum support committee. Additional committees can also be included at various stages of the process based on the initiative’s more urgent needs, i.e. a teacher recruitment committee, a fundraising committee, or an after-school program committee, to name a few.
Thus, your research may need to:
- Determine the number of children by school district or zone considered non-native speakers or English
- Determine the number of children by school district or zone considered bilingual.
- Determine the number of children by school district or zone considered native speakers of the national or official language(in this case, English) who have no knowledge of the target language but whose families are committed to dual-language education in the target language that you have set.
This data will help you explain how your dual-language program will serve different needs. Doing so may also help you secure additional funding from state agencies or philanthropic organizations, particularly those that support English Language Learners.
Frequently, potential enrollment will start off with a large base and end up with a small group on opening day. It is advisable that you recruit more students than are necessary to open a bilingual program in your local schools.