Hashtag Thankful Project
Developed for Midland Christian School October 4, 2015 SUMMARY
Midland Christian School is a private school providing a classical education on a foundation of Biblical Truth based in Midland, Michigan. Enrollment is about 100 students and 65 family units. The school has a desire to both build the awareness and reputation of its brand, as well as build enrollment. Even more fundamentally, the school has a pastoral desire to build Christian character in its students, something that is congruent with the school’s Christian foundation and classical emphasis. The Thanksgiving holiday, a celebration at the intersection of the spiritual and secular, provides a special opportunity to positively influence students, their families and the community at large. Originally conceived to “to give Him praise for His goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of His Providence” and based on the Jewish festival of Sukkot, the meaning of Thanksgiving has largely been displaced by secular celebration of “family” and as a precursor to the holiday shopping season. Likewise, American culture, and specifically the millennial generation, has been accused of new levels of self-centeredness and materialism. At such a time as this, Midland Christian School stands in a unique position to be able to help redeem the importance of thanks within the season of Thanksgiving, to the glory of God and the benefit of the students and families within its sphere of influence. In providing this blessing there is the potential to be blessed in return through the enhancement of the brand and development of positive relations within the community.
THE BIG IDEA
Implement a campaign during the pre-Thanksgiving season in which children and families post photos of themselves holding signs describing things for which they are thankful on social media channels with the hashtag #thankful, as a conduit for implementing family discussions and behavior changes focused on strengthening the distinctly Christian virtue of thankfulness, thereby establishing Midland Christian School as a leader in developing such character qualities within its students and an excellent choice for receiving an education.
Students PK-12 at Midland Christian School Parents and extended families of Midland Christian School students The extended community and internetsphere through word of mouth
The objectives of this campaign would include: 1. To focus student and faculty attention upon gratitude as a Christian virtue. 2. To influence audience behaviors toward more thankfulness, which has the potential to positively affect student attitudes, learning and discipline. 3. To be a witness to the community and culture of the power of Christian virtues. 4. To gain recognition for Midland Christian School as a leader in promoting thankfulness among its students and families, to the degree that this can be done without diminishing the primary objectives of the campaign.
Complacency - The primary competitor to this concept is complacency, in other words, the lack of intentionality that results in doing nothing, thus missing the opportunity for creating a more positive future. Thus, scheduled time and planned activities are essential elements that need to be stressed. Family, Food & Football – Our culture has largely refocused this holiday to be a celebration of “family” instead of its namesake. Activities tend to focus on food preparation and sporting events, driving out the original and true purpose for the special day. While family, food and football are not in and of themselves bad, they have the potential choke out the young seed of thankfulness that the holiday was originally intended to nurture, especially among young children. Turkeys – Themes and children’s emphasis on turkey symbols can overs