…Pencil in this idea when thinking about Outreach for your council!
Sylmar Neighborhood Council has done some great outreach over the years. Since last May, Sylmar has literally “taken it to the streets.” From community cleanups to community mixers to community walks to community town halls to stakeholder recognition to the annual “Make Your Horse Count” event, Sylmar NC has extended its influence and presence to every corner of the community.
But it’s not just the number of events that is impressive. Sylmar NC has reached out to partner with all their local schools to show they are serious about their motto to “bring the community together.” With about 90,000 residents, Sylmar neighborhood council has used the schools as force multipliers for informing the public about the Council, its mission, and its activities.
One of their most original ideas was a Pencil Project. Under the leadership of Vice President Maria Silva, an educator herself, Sylmar NC provided each Sylmar student in grades 3 to 5 with a green Sylmar Neighborhood Council pencil, accompanied by a Sylmar NC brochure to take home and share with the student’s family. The result: 3,500 students and their families are now familiar with the Sylmar Neighborhood Council.
Another project that generated enormous good will in a part of Sylmar that the Council has struggled to reach was “Beautification Day” at Osceola Elementary School. This event brought students, teachers and community leaders together to landscape a barren slope of land on the campus, creating a pleasant outdoor space. In the words of one retired teacher who stopped by to lend a helping hand, “I worked here for so many years and I can tell you this is something I am very emotional about because Osceola just needed someone to care.”
At a town hall and resource fair last fall, LAUSD Board Member Monica Ratliff said, “I have learned a lot from the Sylmar Neighborhood Council because what I have seen them do in the community is amazing.”
Sylmar’s active approach to Outreach has attracted attention from other NCs across the San Fernando Valley. Sylmar NC has partnered with local schools to amplify its message, energize residents and inspire stakeholders. Along the way, they also may be preparing the next generation of leaders.