In our work to support local and national initiatives for youth health and safety, we’ve seen first hand how valuable of a role our simple folders can make when utilized as part of a combined effort to educate and inform a community’s students. Put simply: we love engaging students by putting cool, helpful materials in their hands. The goal for any project—whether it’s aimed at fighting childhood obesity, informing kids about internet safety, ending bullying, or reversing tobacco peer pressure—is to get as much exposure, and as much good exposure, as possible.
Exploring “Good” Exposure
Good exposure means different things depending on what part of the process you’re involved in. It means, first and foremost, that the exposure kids have to these initiatives engages them directly. We work carefully to develop folders that are fresh and exciting, yet educational at the same time. They engage kids while informing them by avoiding clichés and presenting the information in a cool way, relative to the specific age you’re looking at.
Good exposure also means that your materials get quite a bit of face time. If you put folders into the hands of each student in a school district with 50,000 students, and each student views their folder just once per day, over the course of a 180-day school year, that’s 9 million views — 9 million impressions. Each one of those counts, and put together, they make a strong impression on the collective awareness that a whole student body has about the issue at hand.
The Power of Images
Part of what makes folders particularly effective in raising awareness and spreading correct information is that they can accommodate either text or images, or both. More voracious students will read anything that’s in front of them, so those students respond well to tips, quizzes, and fun facts.
But some kids aren’t quite so focused, and all students will have plenty of times where they’re not going sit and read anything: Whether it’s loading or unloading a desk, backpack, or locker, many times there is just a split second where the folder is out and in front of them. In that case, the power of images is especially helpful: they can quickly and completely convey an idea much more immediately than language can.
For all of these reasons (the 9 million impressions in one school year, the direct communication that images can make, the value of smart design), school folders, we believe, are a great opportunity to educate, inform, and most importantly, engage students of many different ages around issues that will really benefit them in the long term.