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Putting Your Best Foot Forward

by Donna Rafanello
November/December 2005
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/putting-your-best-foot-forward/5016634/

Are you true to your word?

Are you an effective communicator?

How well does your writing represent you?

There are a myriad of writing tasks that confront you as a director of an early childhood program. Correspondence is one of the most frequent and time-consuming tasks of all. We often feel a particular pressure when it comes to writing letters, wanting them to express our thoughts eloquently and persuasively. How often are you called on to write the following letters?

• letters to parents

• letters of reference for employees

• thank you letters to donors

• grant application cover letters

• memoranda of understanding with community partners

• employment contracts

• director’s letter in your program newsletter

• invitations to fundraising events/open houses

• letters to the editor

• letters to elected officials

Despite the number of times we are asked to write letters, most of us have never had any formal instruction in professional writing. It is no wonder that the idea of writing strikes fear into the heart of the many. Here are some guidelines for getting started with the writing tasks you face on the job.

Step One:
Define your purpose

The purpose of your writing task, while in most cases readily apparent, requires your serious consideration:

• Why are you writing this particular letter?

• What do you hope to achieve with ...

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