As kids are beginning to head back to school, I decided to begin my annual school mailing "campaign". Elementary and Middle Schools will sometimes book winter movies, and High Schools will begin planning "After-Prom" and "After-Graduation" parties. So, now is the best time to send out promotional mailings to schools.
The problem is, how do you find school names and addresses within a certain distance from your location? If you're in the U.S., here's a great online resource to do just that.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
The link above points to the home page of The National Center for Education Statistics website. As stated on the home page, "The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education." The website provides a great school search function. At the top of the home page, under the "search box", is a link titled "School, College, & Library Search". If you hover your mouse over the link, you will get a "drop down" of additional menu choices. I chose "Search for Public Schools". This brings up a page with a pretty comprehensive table of search criteria. I simply enter my zip code, distance to search, and if I'm looking for a specific type of school (for instance, High Schools) I will select specific grades at the bottom. Then click "Search".
You should get back a list of all schools that meet your selection criteria. Now, here's the really cool part (at least I
think it is). All the way at the bottom of your list, there should be a link to download the data in Excel format. This works perfectly, and also gives you even more details about the schools (except the distance from your location). The Excel file could then be used to print out mailing labels (I usually just add "PTA/PTO President" as the person it gets addressed to). I found that's the best alternative to having the exact contact name of someone at the school.
Anyway, hope it helps someone.