Building relationships

Liaison with stakeholders

For us, this meant establishing good relations with high school principals and guidance departments, elementary school principles and teachers and Board of Education coordinators and supervisors. There were also the groups who controlled the sites, where we ran the programs and then, of course, there were the parents of our students and the young students that visited us.

Like any relationship, success is a product of some very key factors. Trust, which results from honesty, transparency and precise communication is certainly key. It is also necessary to understand the issues faced by each partner and being willing to problem solve, when there are conflicts. In the high school sector, issues were mainly concerned with the distribution of spots in the program and staffing sections. For the elementary schools the issues were around booking dates and convincing parents of the value of the field trip. The Board of Education issues always revolved around financing, be it staffing, site rental or transportation.