The School Outreach Advisory Group (SCOUT) supports the strategic priorities of AFS-USA as they relate to School Relations. The objectives of the School Outreach Advisory Group are to provide input and feedback to proposals and to evaluate and make recommendations for improvement regarding the following:
- New educator resources that will be utilized by volunteers and staff to deepen AFS-USA relationships with schools
- Annual calendar of school outreach initiatives for volunteer and staff communications with schools
- Marketing initiatives and strategies related to school outreach
- Events and opportunities for educator and school engagement
- Other issues related to school outreach, as appropriate
Additionally, the School Outreach Advisory Group will support the AFS-USA Educator and School Awards in the following ways:
- Promote among their local area teams to encourage nominations of educators and schools that qualify
- Review all submitted nominations annually
- Recommend the top nominee for each award category
Provide input for potential revisions to the rubrics, processes, and timelines for the awards to ensure maximum exposure and engagement year after year
As appropriate, members of this Advisory Group will communicate with other school outreach volunteers to receive or solicit feedback regarding the above topics. They can also bring new topics of discussion to the group that endeavor to move he organization towards meeting the goal of deeper, mutually-beneficial and non-transactional relationships among AFS-USA volunteers and staff and American schools and educators as a means to consistently fulfill the AFS-USA mission.
What is the composition of the School Outreach Advisory Group?
The School Outreach Advisory Group consists of both volunteers and staff members and will be chaired by volunteer and supported by the Director of School Outreach. Volunteer representation will consist of volunteers from multiple geographical regions as well as represent diverse groups of individuals in line with AFS-USA’s goals for inclusion, diversity, equity and access.
The ideal volunteer will have experience as a School Outreach Coordinator or as School Representative and will be sufficiently knowledgeable of AFS processes and systems to be able to contribute in a meaningful way to the group’s work. Experience in or around school settings is preferred but is not required.
|Name (tenure end)||Role||Team|
|Ted Johnson* (2025)||Volunteer||Greater Chicago|
|Nancy Bridges (2025)||Volunteer||Heartland Kansas|
|Carol Collins (2024)||Volunteer||Western New York|
|Janet Hanson (2026)||Volunteer||Virginia|
|Frank Russo (20260||Volunteer||Kansas City|
|Valerie Tommasone (2024)||Volunteer||Northeast Ohio|
|Sonja Walti (2024)||Volunteer||Capital (DC)|
*Advisory Group Co-Chair
How much time is required?
- Monthly conference calls
- Regular email correspondence
- Review annual award applications
How long are the terms of membership?
- Volunteer group members commit to being an active member for a minimum of one year, renewable up to four years.
- Group chair serves one-to-two years preceded by a minimum of one year as a group member.
How can I get involved?
- To indicate interest in serving as a volunteer on the national level, please complete the National Council Committee and Advisory Group interest form here.
2021 AFS Summit session: “Introduction to SCOUT (School Outreach).”
Advisory group members present sections on what the advisory group does, what it is, its importance to volunteers, and what it offers to educators in areas of curriculum and professional development. There will also be an introduction of the newly offered Global Educator and Global School awards.