When we think of a group, we often picture the members attending a monthly meeting and listening to a speakerís presentation. This approach works well for many groups, but others may find that their attendance varies from month to month. Group organizers often become discouraged when there is poor attendance.
Even though parents may not always be able to attend meetings, they often wish to be in touch with each other for mutual support, and/or the sharing of educational or advocacy information.
To involve as many parents as possible, it may be helpful to view a group as having many layers.
A multi-layered group may contain all or some of the following:
The entire group may be called together for addressing advocacy issues, building alliances or attending conferences or workshops.
Changing our view of a group allows more parents to be involved and lessens the worries about group size. Networking within the group will increase the groupís knowledge and decrease the membersí sense of isolation. Networking with other parents groups can reinforce the members sense of group power.