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Published on Dec 21, 2011
Bringing Parents, Kids Together with Guerilla Classrooms
Threatened with budget cuts, a joint program of Milwaukee Public Schools and COA Youth & Family Centers turned to Cramer-Krasselt to reinforce its mission and raise awareness. The unique Having Involved Parents Program (HIP) places volunteer coordinators in inner-city schools to help parents become more involved in their child's education, dramatically improving their chances for success in the classroom and beyond. Because reaching these families was a challenge through "traditional" media—and due to negative experiences many of the kids (and their parents) have had with the school system—C-K sought to reach families where they already spent time together. Buses, bus stops, parks and playgrounds were transformed into "guerilla classrooms" featuring high-impact games and activities such as life-size puzzles and mazes to teach the real-world applications of math, science, geography and reading. Not only did these immersive installations encourage interaction between parents and their children, they also sparked peoples' imaginations and attracted interest across the city, state and far beyond, tripling family enrollment, attracting five new corporate sponsors and greatly expanding the number of participating schools.