Last weekend I attended a really cool fundraiser, called Spellebration, in nearby Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  Teams of four adults gathered in costume to compete in an old-fashioned spelling bee, all to raise money for literacy.  I learned some really cool and little-known words which I’ll share with you in a minute.  But since March is “National Literacy Month”, it got me thinking about ways you can use holidays (including “oddball holidays”) to promote your early childhood program, and increase community goodwill and word of mouth.

In fact, this idea of tying your marketing and in-center events to fun holidays is one of the best strategies we teach for breaking through the clutter and gaining attention from your prospective customer families.  Holiday Marketing is featured as winning Strategy #73 in my top-rated book –  The 77 Best Strategies to Grow Your Early Childhood Program.  When you integrate holidays into your marketing message and special offers, it works because people take notice, they like to be amused and entertained, and it often matches what people are thinking about already.

For example, at Super Bowl time, the country is abuzz with Super Bowl hype and water-cooler conversations.  So why not capitalize on what everyone is already talking about, and integrate some type of fun Super Bowl-related promotion into your school marketing calendar?  Even better, get your teachers or after-schoolers to all wear their favorite football jerseys and put the group photo on your social media pages, along with a mention of your Super Bowl tuition special.


You may be celebrating the more traditional holidays, such as Dr. Seuss’s recent birthday on March 2, but the calendar is chock full of what I call “oddball holidays”.  For example, how fun would it be to celebrate “Children’s Book Week” in mid-May or “Talk Like a Pirate Day” on September 19.  And don’t forget one of my favorites, “National Chocolate Chip Day” on May 15!  Another cool idea is to write about holidays and ways for families to celebrate them on your blog (as I am here) or in your parent newsletter.  You can easily find related blog content and tie it into your own blog, or comment on what you find online.  Check out TechMama’s blog on “5 Ways to Celebrate National March into Literacy Month” for more ideas.

Finally, since I’m kind of a dork and I love unusual words, I thought I’d share a few of the new favorites I learned at the Spellebration last weekend.  Have you ever used any of these in a real-life sentence?  Take the “new word challenge” with me and see if you can use these in a sentence conversationally, during the month of March…National Literacy Month!

Take My Word Challenge!

Fun Words I Learned at Last Weekend’s Spelling Bee:

  • Psittacine: of or relating to parrots. “That bird sure is a beautiful psittacine species.”
  • Doppelganger: a look-alike or double of a living person, sometimes portrayed as a paranormal phenomenon, and in some traditions as a harbinger of bad luck. “Who is your celebrity doppelganger?”
  • Azimuth: the angle between the north vector and the perpendicular projection of the star down onto the horizon. “I wonder what the azimuth of Orion’s left shoulder star is?”
  • Balmacaan: a loose, full overcoat with raglan sleeves. “That’s a very attractive balmacaan you’re sporting today.”
  • Escritoire: a small writing desk with drawers and compartments. “I found a fabulous used escitroire at the local antique shop.”

Have fun with oddball holidays, and please leave me a comment below if you are so inspired!

Check out this fun celebration of Elmo’s Birthday at Children’s Kastle!!