Starting a Chapter

Preparing for a Successful Spellbinders® Chapter:
Bridges to Certification

Congratulations for wanting to begin building a Spellbinders® Chapter! Starting a Spellbinders Chapter takes hard work and enthusiasm, but the rewards are tremendous. We are committed to ensuring that new Chapters get off to a great start. For that reason, we have assembled a number of key success factors that will help ensure your start-up and long-term success.

Ultimately, however, Chapters are grown by interested, energetic people who build grassroots support for a Chapter in their own community.  As each locale and set of circumstances is unique,signature_homepage_shot you, your friends and colleagues are in the best position to determine what approach will ensure success in your community.

To initiate the process of forming a new Spellbinders Chapter, download and review Spellbinders Charter and then make contact with the Spellbinders Resource Center. We are here to discuss the needs of your community and supply you with the tools you need to effectively promote Spellbinders and build support.

Keys to Successfully Starting a Spellbinders Chapter

An understanding of and belief in our Purpose and Principles. Our Charter contains our  Preamble, Purpose and Principles.  If these ideas resonate with you and reflect the type of organization you want to create, contact the National Spellbinders Resource Center to begin your journey.

An enthusiastic leadership team.  Running a Chapter takes lots of work from organizing monthly meetings to training.  From past experience we know that a Steering Committee of three or more committed people committed to sharing leadership responsibilities will give your new Chapter the best chance of success.

Coordination with the National Spellbinders Resource Center. Each locale and set of circumstances is unique. Utilize the expertise and informational materials of the National Spellbinders Resource Center (SRC) to help you through this process and to connect you with the collective wisdom of existing Spellbinders Chapters.  We can be reached at 970-544-2389 or info@spellbinders.org.

Volunteers. Start talking to friends, colleagues, and potential partners about Spellbinders and the gift of literacy and intergenerational connections it brings to children, elders and the community as a whole. Show the Spellbinders’ video to local library and school officials, church groups, retired teacher associations, etc. Collect the names of people interested in becoming trained Spellbinders and/or helping to establish the chapter.  Spellbinders requires at least six volunteers in an initial training, but encourages you to start with twelve.

A storytelling venue. Gain a commitment from a local school to welcome trained Spellbinders’ volunteers into the classroom by showing the Spellbinders’ video to local library and school officials and providing them with letters of support (available from the NSRC) from teachers and school district superintendents.

Funds. A chapter that starts with $3,000 has a fantastic chance of covering all their financial needs for the first year.  Rotary Clubs, libraries and local banks have provided the initial seed money for several chapters.  Most small Chapters can operate with budgets of under $2,000 in subsequent years.

Meeting space.  Monthly meetings during the school year are critical to a Chapters success as they let volunteers further polish their art and discuss opportunities and challenges facing the Chapter.  Plan on your Chapter growing and ask your library, school district, church or community center if they can provide you a room once a month for meetings, as well as space for volunteer trainings.

What area is your Chapter going to cover?  Limit your range to a school district, city or county.

Once all of the above are in place, coordinate with the Spellbinders Resource Center about filling out an application to certify your Chapter.  Once the application is received and reviewed, the Spellbinders Resource Center will work with you to secure a certified Spellbinders Trainer to conduct your first Volunteer Training Workshop.