Parents Night Out (PNO)

Hosting a Parents Night Out at your school is absolutely genius! Whoever thought of this idea deserves a Starbucks delivered to their house daily. If your school has not tried this or if you have never heard of this idea, then let me fill you in! The Parent Group or one of the other organization within the school normally heads it up…but basically for a small fee you can drop your child off at the school and they can enjoy pizza, movie & games while you have a night out. Now the entire point is to raise additional funds for the school, so just keep that in mind when setting the ticket price. Keep in mind that all the teachers, parents or even teenagers from the high school are volunteering their time, so that the school can benefit!

Prep Work

Be sure to start getting approvals 3 months in advance if possible….it will have to be approved by school administration. When selecting what day of the week, just do what is best for your parents and student- so weekday or weekend is totally up to you.  Check your school calendar to avoid sporting events, board meetings, and community events too. Another awesome idea is to see if the school nurse has availability to be on duty during the event.

Pick a Theme

Sometimes having a theme just makes things more fun! It builds the excitement and is a great way to recruit volunteers.

Schedule of Events

It’s important to pick a format for the evening, just so everyone knows what to expect. Put together a simple plan and spread the word. Start with drop off and say hi to friends, games in the gym, pizza time, games, movie snacks and then movie night begins. Something as simple as this just keeps everyone informed and excited.

Activities

Crafts, board games, cookie decorating…there are so many things you can do. If you have a large number of participants, then it may work best to separate by age groups. Be sure to utilize older siblings to help out. They are great at taking the lead on games and fun. If you have the room, you could get a bounce house or some kind of rental to occupy them depending on the budget.

Publicity/Event Promotion

Flyers going home and any other publicity should include a synopsis of the featured events, date, time, place, and the form to be filled out with the student’s name, grade, and parent/guardian signature. This completed form is to be returned. It is important to use bold print and make clear. Make the deadline two weeks ahead so you have plenty of time to get enough materials ready, refreshments planned, and space available.

The Big Night

Even with all your planning, complications can arise. I hope that you can avoid most complications with these tips! Have only one entrance to the school available for families to sign in and be entered for door prizes. Community businesses are often very helpful with prizes, which can range from bicycles or helmets, to movie tickets, bowling passes, ice cream coupons, or backpacks loaded with art supplies.

Have plenty of room for sign in and many volunteers to handle the numbers. You may prefer to have everyone gather in one spot for a kick-off and then separate into activities and assign volunteers to specific age ranges.

 

Remember, it is only one night for no more than 5 hours! Of course you can do this as many times as you want through out the year to raise needed funds for the school. Doing it quarterly works really well and then each year you can get approval for the entire year.