Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI): A Process Evaluation. Community Events as a Way to Build Both Supply and Demand

05/23/2008

Coordinating communitywide events is a relatively recent addition to the OMIs menu of strategies.  The extent to which this strategy will contribute to the OMIs goals is not yet known, however, it is expected to both build interest in relationship skills education and increase their supply.

  • Building interest by normalizing marriage education.  Educating the public about what marriage education is may be as important as building awareness of specific available services.  Relationship and marriage education is unfamiliar to many and may be confused with counseling.  Large-scale community events that provide some limited marriage education may create greater interest in full-length workshops in the community.  These events also attract publicity for the initiative, helping to disseminate the message that free help is available for relationships not only through the events themselves but through locally based community workshops.
  • Building supply by providing an alternative for those who cannot attend full workshops.  Large-scale events providing an abbreviated form of the marriage education curriculum can provide an alternative for those who cannot attend a full length workshop due to scheduling issues or unavailability in their area, or are initially hesitant to invest the time.  By taking a statewide tour approach, the events can be considered another means of delivering services, particularly for those in remote or rural areas who otherwise would not have access or would not choose to attend a longer event. 

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