Foster children attend as many as six schools in one academic year and are twice as likely to drop out before graduation. Many children in foster care have undiagnosed learning disabilities that make it difficult for them to succeed in a traditional classroom environment. Educational Services of America (ESA), the nation’s leading provider of special and alternative education, wanted to reach out to foster parents in Duval County, Fla., to help them understand and access services for their children. ESA and a local social services agency partnered to host a Sunday afternoon barbecue at which foster families could learn about education, scholarship and training resources.
Strategy and tactics
Lovell created a direct mail campaign offering foster parents something they need – time. An invitation featured a photo of a family playing on a beach and asked, “Need More Time?” The invitation was mailed in a silver cellophane “glamour” envelope that also included a fun, inexpensive desk clock branded to ESA’s schools in Duval County.
Lovell also developed and distributed a news release and calendar listings in advance of the event to stimulate attendance. We created checklists and support materials so that local staff could plan and execute the event and capture parents’ contact details, including email addresses.
Nearly 100 people attended the barbecue on school campus. While children played, parents learned about the resources available to them such as evening training, support groups and scholarships to the ESA schools in Duval County. As a result, more than 20 students were enrolled in ESA schools and hundreds of families were added to ESA’s database.
“The campaign Lovell Communications developed generated real results for ESA. An investment of about $10,000 in the campaign resulted in more than 20 enrollments, resulting in revenue of $200,000.”
President and CEO
Educational Services of America