Forming teams is the best way to get things done. It builds supportive relationships, pools skills and resources, and lets you do far more than you can do alone.
Some might find the idea awkward at first, but think of all the ways we already come together in our communities in things like book clubs or parent advisory committees in schools. Joining together can be meaningful and sometimes fun!
There are better and worse ways to form and run teams based on experience around the world. Here are our recommendations:
1) Recruitment and House Parties: An ideal team size is about six to 12 active members, so your first step is recruitment! House Parties are a solid recruitment method where you draw on your social circles to invite other parents you think may be interested to share some food and to have an initial conversation to test for willingness to be involved. And, one house party may lead to more as new recruits agree to tap into their social circles too. We may have parents in your area signed up via this website, so be in touch with us and we can put you in touch with them. Recruitment is never really over as you may well find more people wanting to join as you progress.
2) Forming/Running a Team: Once you have critical mass, you can take the step of forming a team. Give yourself a team name and let us know so we can include you on the teams page - it's up to you but you could use the name "For Our Kids - Springfield" - just replacing "Springfield" with your town or neighbourhood (if you are in a bigger city). It's good to have a couple of team chairs or facilitators who make sure you have inclusive conversations and who make sure tasks are followed up on. Other roles will emerge as you take things on and decide who in the team wants to do what. Remember that the foundation of a good team is good relationships, so be sure to build in some social time and fun!
3) Taking Stuff On: It's good to do something together relatively soon rather than spend a long time just talking about it, or people will drop off. Having said that, choose an initial activity that a majority of your team is into and that has tasks for everyone to do. Remember that you can always take something else on next. What your team decides to do is up to you, but we recommend that any project be time bound (you know when it's over), visible, and within the ability of your team to pull it off (even if that means recruiting more expertise). Here's a list of possible activities for your team to discuss.
4) Communicating: You need to communicate both internally within your team and externally to the world to help inspire others. We can help you with both. For internal coordination, you could set up an e-mail list like a Google Group, a closed Facebook Group, a WhatsApp group, or one of many other apps. For external communication, you can work with local media, set up a local Facebook page and linked Instagram Account, and talk to us about setting up and managing your own community team page on this website.
We'd love to support you through this process. We have regular video/voice group calls for people who are helping to run teams and would value your wisdom and questions there. Please be in touch.