“Les 8 à 9”: a New Networking Opportunity for Parents’ Associations

Article from Parenthèse published on 19 May 2021, in the Education/Schools category.

The member associations of the Fédération des parents now have the opportunity to meet virtually on a regular basis to discuss their challenges, experiences, and needs.

For parents involved in parents’ associations, the problems of the COVID-19 pandemic seem to have accentuated the need to network with each other to exchange information on their common realities, and to share ideas and solutions. This was made clear during the online meetings organized in 2020 by the Fédération des parents for elected representatives of its member associations (school parents’ associations and associations of parents managing preschool centres).

One of the needs that was expressed inspired us to offer a workshop about fundraising in the context of the pandemic, which was presented at our last annual conference. This workshop was recorded and can be viewed online in the Nos vidéos section of our website.

Of course, holding the 2020 Parents’ Conference virtually didn’t allow for the friendly in-person discussions that are always so appreciated by the participants year after year and that make the annual conference such a highly anticipated event. However, the success of this entirely virtual conference has proven that a virtual platform can be a very practical forum to facilitate contact between parents involved in parents’ associations. Although those parents are scattered across the province, they are eager to talk together and to help each other.

This prompted the Fédération des parents to set up a series of regular virtual meetings: “Les 8 à 9” for the parents’ associations. At each “8 à 9,” any member association may delegate one or two representatives such as the president, the vice-president, or another board member, according to their interest in the topics chosen. Each of these meetings on Zoom will focus on a topic directly related to the needs expressed by our member associations. The format will be as follows: the Fédération des parents team will initiate the meeting by presenting, interactively, information relevant to the meeting’s theme, and will then moderate the rest of the hour to facilitate discussion between participants.

Already, the first “8 à 9,” which focused on micro-funding, generated fruitful discussion among elected representatives of parents’ associations in early May. As for the next “8 à 9,” scheduled for June 1, 2021, the meeting will be devoted to succession planning in parents’ associations. This is a crucial and very timely topic – annual general meetings are quickly approaching for many associations. Strategies, approaches, and advice will be shared, and then the meeting will leave time for discussion. Invitations have already been sent, but if your association didn’t receive one, please contact us by email at info@fpfcb.bc.ca.