Fay Receives Award from PRSA Houston
On Thursday, October 7, 2021, The Fay School received the Bronze Award for Special Tactical Projects from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Houston Chapter. The award recognized Fay’s innovative marketing and public relations strategy pertaining to the “Students Behind the Mascot” project, conducted by our 2020-2021 Second Grade Leaders (now Third Grade Leaders).
There are a lot of buzz words in early child and elementary education. Terms like project-based learning, experiential learning, outdoor education, provocation, whole-child education, social-emotional learning, and the list goes on! But, at Fay, we are living out those words every single day, and this project is just an example of Fay learning in action.
To summarize the “Student Behind the Mascot” project, in true Fay fashion, when we decided we wanted our first-ever school mascot, we did not hire a marketing agency to help curate a mascot concept. Instead, we tasked our Second Graders. With the help of the Houston Zoo, our Second Graders researched and presented to their peers over 12 different animals that live in our Fay Forest, which are our outdoor trails that lead to Buffalo Bayou. The Second Graders then narrowed our “mascot nominees” to three options and hosted a school-wide election. Long story short, we are now the Fay Gators!
The “Students Behind the Mascot” project relates to public relations because it helped The Fay School build a sense of community when we could not physically all gather during the 2020-2021 school year. This opportunity also fostered an incredible partnership with the Houston Zoo, which is still present on our campus today. It also helped get the name out about The Fay School in various ways, including providing opportunities for our families to sport more Fay Merchandise as students were SO excited to be rocking swag with our new Fay Gator logo.
- Increase in applications: Fay saw an over 50% increase in applications since the last admissions cycle.
- National Recognition: A spotlight article was written about The Fay School from the Independent School governing body, the National Association of Independent Schools.
- Significant cost savings: Instead of partnering with an agency to develop the mascot, our school partnered with 7-year-olds, who have much more reasonable fees! All in, we spent under $10,000.
- Launch of a school store: We started a partnership with Squad Locker, an online store with more than 180 new Fay Gator merchandise items.
Most importantly, the most significant indicator that this project was a success was how our students learned the value of giving back to their community. It serves as another excellent example of how Fay creatively designs learning experiences that are sticky, meaningful, and fun!
Fay is a future-focused school with best practices, evidence-based teaching techniques, and a dedication to keeping its students and love of learning at the forefront of it all. This project cultivated student voice, leadership, and engagement, something we all want to see in the future leaders of our world.
About Kaitlin Necas, M.B.A.: Kaitlin Necas, The Fay School's Communications Officer, is a marketing and communications professional who is passionate about activating people around things that will make our world a better place. When she is not engaging with the future leaders of our world, her cherished Fay Students, she can be found often at the Eastern Glades of Memorial Park with her husband, Kevin, and 9-month-old (hopeful) future Fay Gator, Luca.