Imagine our pleased surprise to see that Eastside Library in Spokane, Washington will hold a free class on diapering this weekend. With the rising advocacy for cloth diapers connected to green concerns, it's great to see a free community event is available to people in that area who want to learn more. Even if parents ultimately decide not to go cloth, that the opportunity is there for learning the ease of use and economical benefits gives me hope that perhaps other communities will take a cue from Spokane and offer similar classes.
Where I am, catalogs are mailed periodically with information on adult community classes, everything from yoga to learning sign language. I've yet to see any public events involving cloth diapering and green parenting, and it leads me to wonder that if one genuinely has a passion for using cloth, wouldn't it make sense to take the lead and organize a class? Who better to show expectant parents and moms looking for an alternative to disposables how to use cloth than somebody who uses them regularly?
Those who teach anything do so because they have a passion for what they love. We joke often about teachers must really love what they do, otherwise they would work toward something more financially stable (I can talk: my parents were both teachers and my husband is a teacher; we aren't exactly rolling in dough). To organize the occasional community class on cloth diapers isn't as difficult as you think. You just need the drive and the commitment to see it through.
A few tips to get you started, if ever you decide to put your passion for cloth into action:
1) Decide how to proceed with a class. Gather your materials and work out an itinerary of topics to cover and possible troubleshooting questions you'll be asked. Have information on costs, because parents new to cloth will definitely want to know how they'll save money. If you have help organizing, decide who will speak and demonstrate use.
2) Decide on a date and venue. Where will everybody meet? When? You may wish to organize a class through your church or library (most libraries have meeting rooms for such community events). Weekends may prove a better time, assuming some parents work during the weekdays and have after school activities.
3) Promote! Contact your local paper and work with the venue to reach their established audience. Contact all your Facebook friends and set up an event page there. Find local mom blogs and forums and spread the word. Get RSVPs so you'll have a good idea of what size audience to expect.
4) Distribute information. Have takeaways on hand to give out on the day of the event. If you're able to get samples of cloth diapers, consider giving them away as prizes (people love free stuff, be sure to tease that when you promote). Send people away with purchase information and brand names so they can do their own research, too.
5) Get feedback. Collect e-mail information from people who come and get a follow-up report. Was the class helpful? Did it make parents decide to give cloth a try? Learn what you can from your experience in the event you want to do more to serve the community.
Above all else, enjoy yourself! As an enthusiastic parent, let your love for cloth diapering and green parenting shine and spread.