DSVP Partner, Lisa Evans, reflects on recent KIPP recruiting event:
This weekend I volunteered to help with a neighborhood outreach recruitment event for KIPP Truth Academy. A mix of DSVP partners, friends of DSVP partners, parents of current KIPP students, and KIPP staff convened at the Dallas KIPP Campus on Saturday morning. We met for a brief training session before we were paired up and set loose in surrounding neighborhoods to help recruit new students for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year that starts on June 9th.
During our 20-30 minute orientation we learned about the many benefits KIPP provides to students and parents of students that choose to enroll in KIPP’s rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Since KIPP Truth Academy goes from 5th through 8th Grade, we targeted households that had a 4th Grader in them. Most of KIPP's openings for new students are in 5th Grade, since most students stay until they go to high school. We learned that KIPP graduates usually get accepted into a high school far superior to DISD high schools. They read us an impressive list of the private schools, boarding schools, magnet schools and college preparatory schools that many of the current KIPP 8th grade class had just got accepted to.
Preparing the students with the tools they need to get accepted into an exemplary high school is just one of the benefits KIPP offers. They visit 9 or 10 colleges and universities during their time at KIPP, going on annual educational trips to places like Washington DC, San Antonio and Colorado. Students also receive guidance applying to universities and for financial aid their Junior year in high school.
So now that we were all well-informed about the benefits of KIPP and knew that our goal was to educate parents on these benefits, encourage them to attend an open house next week to learn more, or to have them fill out an enrollment form right then and there, we set off to our assigned houses. To my surprise, everyone we spoke to had already heard of KIPP and were very interested in learning more. They really liked the sound of a free, college preparatory school that would help their children receive a higher level of education and help them with character traits that would set them up for success in life. We had many parents tell us they would definitely be attending the open house on March 22nd and even walked away with 2 enrollment forms for a 4th and 5th grader.
I walked away wishing we could have reached more people that morning, but felt great about the parents we were able to speak to in hopes that their children would join KIPP, and greatly improve their chances of receiving a college education and experiencing success far beyond that as well. This event allowed me to gain knowledge and a much greater appreciation for what KIPP does for children and families of the underprivileged who, based on statistics, would most likely never receive a college degree and I’m very grateful I was able to be a part of it!