MARCH 19, 2018
Boothing. It’s not just a made-up verb, it’s an event way of life. I recently had the pleasure to set up an iCivics booth at the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) EL Vendor Expo in Chester County, PA. My goal: showcase iCivics’ newly released resources for English language learners. Also in attendance were big name textbook and education providers like Scholastic, National Geographic, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
I get excited anytime I have the opportunity to talk with educators about iCivics, but conferences, expos, and fairs are quite literally the best places to exercise my wildly intoxicating evangelism! For an educational nonprofit, exposure is critical. For one, what iCivics has to offer is knowledge that every student—really citizen—needs to know and understand. We are teaching the practice of democracy, and as Justice O’Connor famously said that kind of knowledge isn’t passed down through the gene pool. Establishing our presence at events like these offer our organization an opportunity to reach the people who make decisions about what students will learn. It’s our golden moment to make a scalable impact, reach new audiences, and share awesome FREE resources!
Someone once said, “A great booth is like a gateway.” (Okay, that someone was me.) The cool thing is the “booth door” opens both ways. Yes, newcomers meet iCivics, but you open a door to knowledge for yourself as well. Representing iCivics at the CCIU EL Vendor Expo gave me a chance to check out what other big name companies are doing in the field of EL. We’re the new kids on the block when it comes to building and modifying curricular materials for our second language learners so that kind of exposure was helpful for me. I also got to pop in on the keynote speaker’s presentation about education and technology. I walked away with quite a few new tech resources to use.
My experience boothing at the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) EL Vendor Expo in Chester County, PA was a huge success. Conferences like CCIU EL Vendor Expo allow us to reach new teachers, learn from others in the industry, and gain insight into the needs of students in the space. If you end up boothing for iCivics in the future, I recommend these tips: leave the conference with more knowledge and connections than when you came; share your iCivics experience in your presentation for a deeper impact; remember that it’s the people that keep iCivics mission alive.
Interested in presenting on iCivics at your county or national conference? Contact us!