It’s a new school year. FFA chapters across the country will celebrate returning members and welcome new ones. Here are 10 ways for advisors and members to start the year off strong and to keep the momentum going all year long.
1. Break the Ice
It can be difficult for new members to break the ice. Divide your chapter into random groups to write one thing they have in common on individual index cards. Race to see which group can build the tallest card castle.
2. Raffle Off Membership
Host a raffle during freshman orientation night. Prospective members can win discounted membership dues, and veteran members can compete to sell the most raffle tickets.
3. Post Your Connections
Does your chapter run a social media channel? Do you communicate through group text? Are you trying to increase traffic to your website? Post the links immediately in your classroom to make communications easier for the rest of the year.
4. Color Coordinate
Encourage members to wear a chapter T-shirt on the same day at the beginning of the school year. Flood the hallways with FFA pride and help new members identify others in your chapter.
5. Get Organized
Between chapter meetings, career and leadership development event practices and supervised agricultural experience (SAE) visits, it can be difficult to keep track of everything going on during the school year. Plan as many dates as possible during the summer and share them months in advance.
FFA is a year-round activity for both students and teachers. Invite members to bring in pictures of their summer SAE activities, county fair participation and leadership conferences to showcase all their summer work.
7. Decorate Lockers
Make signs for members of your chapter and decorate their lockers. Seeing the FFA emblem all over your building can encourage new members to join your chapter and let current members know how much they are appreciated.
8. Create a Time Capsule
Help members set personal goals by creating a time capsule for the year. Write down one goal you hope to accomplish this year and return them on the last day of the school year.
9. Remember Your Alumni and Supporters
Going back to school isn’t an important time just for FFA members and advisors. Send a special letter, email or postcard from your chapter officers to local alumni and supporters to reconnect for the upcoming school year.
10. Throw a Thank-You Party
Host a barbecue for parents, school administrators, bus drivers and anyone else who’ll go the extra mile for FFA members in the upcoming year. Thank them ahead of time for all their support.
Start the school year off right by also signing up for grants that fund programs and projects like these and more.