For the past eight years, the EAST Initiative has coordinated the efforts of local EAST programs in a National Open House event we call EAST Night Out. EAST Night Out is designed to be a fall event that is a great way to reconnect with community partners and build excitement for the coming year. Through this event EAST programs across the country open their doors to thousands upon thousands of guests and can springboard this one evening into a year of great projects and student growth.
Like most things EAST, EAST Night Out is often a student-driven project in and of itself. The students plan their event, prepare the activities, invitations, and logistics of welcoming the community into their classroom for a night of sharing and celebrating.
The staff at EAST particularly loves EAST Night Out because it’s an opportunity for all of us to go out into the schools early in the school year, especially staff that doesn’t often travel to the schools. We also coordinate the travel of some of our Directors and other VIPs when schools ask for them. All told we travel a few thousand miles to celebrate with the students, the facilitators, and the communities. When my jokes aren’t too bad, I even get invited back later in the year from time to time.
We love EAST Night Out, but we’ve always wanted to build on it. This year we are with a new event we have christened EAST Night In. EAST Night Out is formally set for Tuesday, October 13, but twelve days earlier we are planning on opening the doors of the EAST Headquarters for our very own Open House at EAST Night In! Yes, we will be including and showcasing the work of many of our programs and their students, but we wanted to take an evening and share with the world the work that we are doing supporting our schools and being a bona-fide educational success story in our own right.
On Thursday, October 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 I am extending my personal invitation to you to drop by and celebrate this incredible Initiative. The EAST staff will be on hand to demonstrate some of the new technology we are putting in our schools, share the work that we do in Site Support, Professional Development, Beyond the Bell, and a dozen other things you may or may not be familiar with. Like I said earlier, we’ll have students on hand demonstrating some of their mind-blowing projects and we hope to have a wonderful crowd from our community to celebrate with us.
Yes, there will be some food and snacks, but there will be more networking and collaboration than you can shake a stick at. There’s not a formal presentation or program, we’ve built it so that everyone that comes can spend time celebrating with us and thinking about ways we can all work together to bring more opportunities to our schools and students.
The EAST Initiative is a powerful team of smart and energetic people who love the opportunity to help our schools. Please come by and learn more. I promise you’ll leave inspired!
Before I sign off on this blog post, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to extend thanks to our great friends at First Security Bank who will be providing much of the yummy food for this event. They have been strong supporters of EAST for over fifteen years now and can always be counted on to support the real mission of EAST. They believe in our students and in our model, too, and they’re incredibly fun to work with. We are blessed to have supporters like them on our team.
Mark your calendar now. We hope to see you at EAST Night In… and then we hope you go see your local school on EAST Night Out.
Until next time,