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E-mails For Change Rained On ‘Grove Board

POTTSTOWN PA – Social media mavens describe it as “community engagement.” Online sales people refer to it as “call-to-action responsiveness.”

On Tuesday (Aug. 25, 2015), members of the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors might have thought of it as “the headache.”

“It” was a marketer’s dream … a torrent of e-mails for change, prompted by a series of Facebook requests and subsequent shares, that flooded the in-boxes of most board members only hours before their monthly workshop meeting in the district office on Kauffman Road.

The goal of the dozens of messages sent to each of nine directors: encourage them to reverse Pottsgrove’s policy of requiring costly tuberculosis testing of volunteers. Which is exactly what the board did, unanimously, as one of its first orders of business.

Did all those e-mails figure in the decision? Director and policy reversal advocate Rick Rabinowitz thought so. “Thanks to everyone who sent us letters,” he shouted on Facebook after the meeting ended. “I am convinced it did make a difference!”

Certainly, some board members had their minds made up to change the volunteer requirement policy well before the digital deluge arrived. And possibly some e-mails cemented the resolve of those, if any, who may have had second thoughts about the merits of a change.

If nothing else, the e-mails caught directors’ attention.

“I stopped reading them after about the 17th one,” board member John Rossi reported during the meeting. “They just kept coming.”

“I got a ton of e-mails, just like everybody else,” his colleague, Dee Gallion, admitted. The heads of other directors around the board table could be seen nodding in agreement.

District residents Julee Schirmacher Smith, Al Leach, Jamie Sanchez-Mull, Lori Keefer and others were among those responsible for promoting the e-mail campaign. Shortly after the board’s decision, they were again among the first to return to Facebook and remind parents and family members of the need to respond-in-kind to the board action.

“It is great news. I know of several people who would have not been able to volunteer otherwise!,” Keefer wrote.

“Ok, volunteers,” Sanchez-Mull added, “no excuses now. You all know you want to sign up to help.”

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Aug. 25 meeting):

Photo from Google Images

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