In this article, all volunteers can access the routine communication provided to the School Outreach Volunteers. This newsletter shares opportunities for volunteers to enhance their skills in working with schools as well as tips, tricks, and resources that can be sent directly to any educator/school regardless of a volunteer’s role with AFS. We hope you find this information helpful as we know many volunteers interact with schools so knowing how to set AFS apart from other organizations will continue to be important in those interactions.
May, 2023 Newsletter
June – School is out or will be soon, but there are still opportunities to be shared with schools and educators!
*For those of you who work closely with your AFS School Representatives, please note that we have changed the order of the items in the newsletter to move the email templates and opportunities for sharing to the top as some representatives have indicated that they were unaware of this feature of the monthly newsletter. We do hope this helps!
OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE WITH SCHOOLS
We have a few opportunities to share with educators in June as schools are winding down. Please make sure you pay attention to the audiences and deadlines below for each of the items so you get them to the right people in time for them to take action.
Global STEM Accelerators Scholarships for Young Women
Intended Audience: Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) Teachers or Club Sponsors
- Good day ____! As a STEM teacher, I’m sure you can appreciate the need for scholarships and opportunities to help students explore their interests in these fields beyond the walls of the classroom. The AFS Global STEM Accelerators is an extraordinary, full-scholarship program for young women who are active global citizens and passionate about solving some of today’s biggest global challenges. The 2023 Accelerators program consists of virtual, interactive workshops for girls around the world between the ages of 15 and 17.5, with a focus on emerging and critical STEM skills, global competence education, and social impact – empowering participants to become changemakers in their communities. The 12-week, all-virtual Accelerators exchange program’s applications close on June 25, 2023. Share the website with your students so they can learn more and apply! Please reach out if I can answer any questions about this for you! Thank you, ____
Full Scholarship for Students to Learn Hindi, Arabic, Mandarin, Korean, Russian, and Turkish
Intended Audience: Language teachers, Social Studies Teachers, & AFS School Champions
- Hi _____! I recognize the school year is wrapping up (or has just ended), but if you are still in communication with your students, there’s an amazing, FULL scholarship opportunity that might interest some of them and the deadline isn’t until June 15, 2023, so they still have time to apply. I hope you will consider sharing with your students the opportunity to participate in intensive language courses through the Virtual National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program through the U.S. Department of State. It’s a 10-week course for beginners. Students are in small class cohorts and meet virtually twice per week with an experienced language teacher. All of the dates and details can be found and shared with students using this link. I’m more than happy to answer any questions you or your students may have. I hope you have a tremendous and relaxing summer break ahead. It is much deserved! Thank you, _____
Global Up Educator Program – Global Summer Cohort
Intended Audience: Any educator with whom you are trying to connect or build a relationship!
- Good day ____! I know you are likely beginning to wind things down for the end of the year, so I thought I would share a global professional development opportunity taking place this summer at no cost to you. You’ll explore culture, communication styles, stereotypes, teaching for global competence and so many other topics and you’ll do that with teachers from around the world. It includes live dialogue sessions one morning a week and self-paced online modules in between, so it works well for a teacher’s summer schedule! If you’d like to see the list of topics and the schedule, or if you want to register, here’s the link to learn more! I hope you have a fantastic end of the year! Thank you, _____ *P.S. If you want to have a AFS exchange student in your classroom next year, let me know, I’m happy to help! *
Thank You Template for Schools About to Host - AFS-USA has a “thank you” flyer filled with best practices for schools who have just signed the Placement Acceptance Form to welcome a hosted student for the following school year? Here’s a short template that you or anyone on your team can use to thank and prepare a school for hosting an AFSer for 2023-2024 and beyond.
- Hello ________, Thank you for approving _______ from _________ to attend your high school for the XX-XX school year! Is there anything else you need from us or from the host family to complete enrollment? Does this student's vaccination history meet your school's requirements? Please let me know! And check out this best practices flyer to help clarify any questions you might have on next steps regarding this student as well as ways AFS can support your school in building active global citizens. With appreciation, _____________
RECENT & UPCOMING SCHOOL COMMUNICATIONS
To assist you in recognizing and communicating with your local schools, we want to make sure you are aware of both recent and upcoming communications that AFS schools are receiving.
- Medallion Member School Certificates of Appreciation – Every high school that hosted a Sponsored Programs student in the 22-23 school year will soon be receiving a physical certificate from the U.S. Department of State that will be accompanied by a letter from AFS-USA explaining the purpose of the certificate, thanking them for their participation in this public diplomacy initiative, and inviting them to host again. If you have questions about this, please reach out to me.
- Global Educator Newsletter – The next edition of the Global Educator Newsletter is scheduled to go out in late August in preparation for the beginning of the new school year.
Did you know…?
- The School Outreach Advisory Group, affectionately referred to as SCOUT, is seeking 3 new members to join our national volunteer team on July 1st for a 3-year period. You can learn more about what we do and fill out the interest form here. If you have questions, you can reach out to our SCOUT Chair, Ted Johnson, or me. We are both happy to help!
- AFS-USA offers webinars for schools who are new or are returning to hosting AFS students after a hiatus. This July & August, there are 6 different days/times that a school staff member could attend that will help them understand best practices for enrolling, scheduling, and preparing AFS students to have a successful and drama-free year in their school. We hope you will share this opportunity with any school that you are working with that is new to AFS or has had a lot of turnover in the staff that would support these students. Here’s the link for school staff members to register and all dates/times are included on the registration form.
- AFS-USA has 1-page handouts for each of our Sponsored Programs (YES & FLEX) countries. These single page documents are tremendous resources to share with host families AND school staff members who will have one of those students in their class. You are encouraged to hyperlink a page to an introduction email to the school counselor or to a student’s teachers or to print the document and deliver it with a welcome packet to the school before the hosted students arrive or even as a thank you for signing a Placement Acceptance Form.
- AFS-USA has created a ROADMAP for new and existing volunteers to start with small, tangible tasks to get started in school outreach. We strongly encourage you to work with host families that may want to stay engaged, but maybe not host next year, or other volunteers who might considering engaging with local schools to use these roadmaps. There are 3 different levels to help volunteers get to know AFS and their local schools! Read more and check out the roadmaps today!
Thank you for all that you do to give back to schools. Your role is very important as we know that relationships with schools matter and are one of the biggest determining factors of AFS students getting a placement in that school.
Jill Woerner, Rebecca Oswalt, Sarah Radermacher, Evelyn Jackson, Cynthia Iliff, & Micki Barreto