Monday, June 29, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fathers Can Impact The Academic Success of Their Children

"Children whose fathers are involved in their education have greater academic achievement than their peers, even when taking into account their mothers’ involvement. Father's involvement in their children's education was associated with greater academic achievement, even when controlling for mothers' involvement" (McBride, Brent A. 2005).

For more information please click on: http://www.familyfacts.org/findingdetail.cfm?finding=9373

Friday, June 19, 2009

Men Make A Difference

Fathers/significant male role models: Have a major impact on student success. Data shows that when fathers and significant male role models are involved students:

  • Make As and Bs,
  • Have greater motivation to succeed
  • Have higher self-esteem
  • Have less health and emotional problems
  • More confidence
  • Are less likely to use drugs
  • Girls are less likely to engage in pre-marital sex
  • Are less likely to become teenage parents

Fathers and Male Role Models Are Valued In Prince George's County Public Schools



By:

Michael A. Robinson, Coordinating Supervisor

During the 2008-2009 school year Prince George's County Public Schools developed a campaign to increase the level of engagement between fathers and other significant male role models in the academic lives of our students. As a result of efforts by administrators, school staff, teachers, community based organizations and government agencies, over 70,000 fathers and significant male role models were connected with their children schools.

The increase in male engagement was apparent in areas such as volunteerism and classroom observations. For the upcoming 2009-2010, we are asking all men in Prince George's County to take a stake in our schools and volunteer at least 5 hours of service to a school of their choice.

9 reasons why President Obama is a great dad

According to The Today Show, here are the 9 reason President Obama is considered a great dad.

  1. He always fits his daughters into his busy schedule
  2. He keeps his promises
  3. He protects his kids' privacy
  4. He's a good storyteller
  5. He always makes time
  6. He tucks them into bed
  7. He sets a good civic example
  8. He protects his kids
  9. His family leads a 'normal' life
For on this story visit: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31451371/ns/fathers_day_guide/?pg=1#tdy_Parenting_ObamaGreatDad

President Obama Begins A National Dialouge On The Importance of Fatherhood

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/25189566#31450974

Friends of The President of the United States Supports His Position on Fatherhood

June 16, 2008: Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., thinks Barack Obama's 2008 homage to fatherhood on Father's Day was perfect in a country where we need family to get through any economic or cultural crisis.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/25189566#25189566

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Famous Quotes About Fathers and Fatherhood


If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.
Bill Cosby

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love the most is soap-on-a-rope.
Bill Cosby

My father was an amazing man. The older I got, the smarter he got.
Mark Twain

A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be.
Unknown

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: he believed in me.
Jim Valvano

It is a wise father that knows his own child.
William Shakespeare

A Letter to All Volunteers for the Parents Assisting Teachers Program


Dear Volunteer:

Our community is very fortunate to have thousands of citizens who are dedicated to supporting both our students and our schools. Each day, these volunteers display selfless acts of service to assure that all Prince George’s County Public School students receive a quality education in a safe and secure learning environment. We are very proud of this commitment to quality education and appreciate your interest in joining as our partner in providing the finest education possible for our students.


The goals of the Parents Assisting Teachers (PAT) school volunteer program are to:

  • Establish a school-community partnership for quality education.
  • Provide individualized educational assistance to students.
  • Relieve the teacher of some non-instructional tasks and duties.
  • Enrich the curriculum.
  • Improve students’ self-worth by increasing the opportunity for educational achievement.
  • Stimulate community interest, concern and support for the educational system.
  • Enhance all aspects of the educational process.

As you volunteer in our schools, your varied life experiences and training will enhance the education of our youth and have an impact on their lives. The role you have selected is both exciting and challenging and will provide you with opportunities for personal enrichment and fulfillment.

Your personal interest and desire to help is welcomed and appreciated. Youth are our most important natural resource and their education will form the foundation of the future. Thank you for investing your time, talents, heart and soul in our future.


Sincerely,
Department of Family and Community Outreach

Parents Assisting Teachers Doubles Its Membership

In school year 2007-2008, 204 parents were trained by the Parents Assisting Teachers (PAT) program and were deployed to over 50 schools to assist teachers in the classrooms. This year (2008-2009) over 450 parents have been trained and deployed to over 70 schools.

Parents Assisting Teachers is a research-based, approved process designed to engage parents and enhance their involvement in their child’s learning. It is also designed for those parents/guardians and community members who are interested in volunteering in classrooms to assist teachers in the educational/instructional process.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Male Mentors Needed for Board of Education Mentor Program "Connecting Generations In America's Classrooms"

Board Encourages Community Members to Work with Students and Become that Caring Adult in their Lives. The next Mentor Orientation is scheduled for June 17, 2009 at William Wirt MS from 6pm-8pm. Should you have immediate questions, please do not hesitate to contact· Jim Smith, 301.883.8255, e-mail at jsmith@digitalnetworkgroup.net· Michael Robinson, 301.925.2535, e-mail at michael.robinson@pgcps.org.

Math and Family Involvement

According to Epstein, et al. (2008) studies have shown parental involvement has an influence on the level of student achievement in the area of math. She goes on to suggest the greater the involvement of the parent in their child’s school life the greater the achievement, citing the works of Desimone (1999); Ma (1999); Valadez, (2002).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Interview with Parent Liaison Jose F. Alonso of Paint Branch Elementary


Q. How do you define parental engagement as it relates to education?

A. Parental engagement in education can be defined as the active participation of parents in the affairs of the school and its community. When the parents are actively involved in the school it also benefits the home/school/community partners.

Q. What are some of the major barriers to parental engagement today versus years ago as it relates to education?

A. Essentially, there is a need for the families to adjust to today’s societal dynamics. That is, most parents work and some more than one job. Therefore, they are no longer at home to assist the children with their school work. Children spend a substantial amount of time after school away from home, often along in the house without adult supervision or interaction.

In addition, as our neighborhoods become more and more diverse, language and cultural barriers inhibit the needed communication between the school, the students and the families. Very often the level of academic achievement of the parents can be a barrier to communicate with the students and the school. This problem precludes many parents from assisting their children with school work. Living in poor urban settings and with many families in one household, does not provide the appropriate climate for learning and schooling. Many of those urban settings do not have adequate schools that offer quality educational programs to meet the needs of the diverse populations.

Q. What are some of ways parents can become more engaged with their children around school?
A.
Parents and community members joining the PTA
Volunteering to assist in school functions
Engage the teachers in discussions related to your children academics
Visiting the classroom on regular basis
Assisting the community in events that benefit the school

Q. What do you believe the school system has to do in order to increase parental engagement?

A. Maintain “Open Schools” and keep the lines of communication open. Keep the school open year around by providing extended school hours after the regular school day. In this setting schools can offer programs during those extra hours for parents to increase their knowledge and well being. For example, literacy classes, adult education courses in computers, math, household finances, general history knowledge of the country and practical courses in parenting and health. One potential component of Open Schools is the ability to offer tutoring programs year around for those students in need of academic support.

Other ways to increase parental engagement is: (a) keep the parents informed about the school and community happenings; (b) use all the lines of communication available (Data bases, internet, SCS, Internet, School Newsletter, Letters, Flyers) in at least English and Spanish language as we are a culturally diverse schools; (c) provide assistance as requested and as much as possible using the information available in the school and the school system; (d) coordinate with other agencies to offer parents information and workshops about the community and available resources and (e) foster the parents/school and community relationships.

The goal is to make the school a place where parents feel that “the school is theirs and is there for their families.”

Q. In your opinion, do you believe active parental engagement has an impact on the persistence of students at the secondary and or postsecondary level?

A. Yes, parental engagement is capable of providing guidance, confidence and support to the secondary and post--secondary students. Students like to feel that their parents are engaged in their schooling. Parents should encourage good study habits and instill the desire to achieve success and foster the need to continue pursuing their educational goals. These qualities will remain for the entire life of their children.

Top 10 African American TV Dads of All Time?

  1. Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
  2. Bernie Mac (The Bernie Mac Show)
  3. James Evans (Good Times)
  4. Carl Otis Winslow (Family Matters)
  5. George Jefferson (The Jeffersons)
  6. Fred Sanford (Sanford and Son)
  7. Kenny Chadway (Soul Food: TV Series)
  8. Carl Payne (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne)
  9. Eddie Sutton (Lincoln Heights)
  10. D.L. Hughley (The Hughleys)

What do you think? Who is your number one TV Dad?

PGCPS Parental Engagement Goes Virtual:

Prince George's County Public Schools and the Office of Parental Engagement continues its efforts to engage parents. Upcoming parental engagement programs:

  • Virtual Parent Academy: (Online classes for engaged parents: Scheduled for broadcast September, 2009)
  • The Parent Spot: (Weekly online discussion with parents on the issues of parental engagement)
  • Fatherhood: (Online discussion with a panel of men discussing a variety of issues of education and their role in developing solutions)

For more information email michael.robinson@pgcps.org

Parents Can Be Invaluable Partners

“Parents can be invaluable partners in their children's education, but many take themselves out of the equation because of mistrust, misunderstanding, the demands of work and home, or other factors"(Linda Star, 2009).

We are asking parents not to take themselves of the equation, but that they become part of the team, by working with their children schools to find ways they can become engaged in the learning process.

Parental Engagement Goes Online

Hello Parents,

There is a radio station designed for the engaged parent and the dedicated educator. The Journey Begins (call letters K12HED) is Internet radio which combines the best in contemporary urban music and conversation with parents, educators and community officials discussing challenges and issues surrounding education today.

Let the Journey Begin at http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/mini.cgi?stream=1362481&genre=&site=live365&tm=798&from=rma

To broaden your parental engagement experiences, please feel free to download interesting tidbits on parental engagement at the parental engagement podcast resource center at: http://education4and2parents.podbean.com/

PGCPS PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT REACHES TITANIC PROPORTIONS





Parental engagement in Prince George's County Public Schools has reached titanic proportions. In school year 2007-2008, when one measures the total number of parents who have participated in the core of what we call our parental engagement program; areas such as participation in a non-sports related event, classroom observations, participation in monthly parent workshops, and parent volunteers parental engagment in our schools is evident. For example, in the 2007-2008 school year there were a total of 89,000 parents involved in some aspect of our parental engagement program. However, the 2008-2009 school year represents the systemic growth we wanted in our parental engagement program. A review of parental involvement in our core programmatic areas reveals a 192% increase in parental activity when compared to the 2007-2008 school year. For the 2008-2009 school year 262,452 parents and significant adults in the lives our children participated in one of our core parental engagement program. The data for the 2008-2009 school year is not complete, as the final weeks of the school year has yet to calculated, thus we can expect an even greater increase from 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
The numbers are in:
  • # of Men participating in non-sports related events at school (59,570)
  • # of Women participating in non-sports related events at school (108,741)
  • Total # of Parents participating in non-sports related events at school (168,311)
  • # of Classroom Observations (47,505)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A powerful Conference: Engaging Boys of Color

A powerful conference on the subject of African American males entitled: Engaging Boys of Color is free and open to the public.

When: June 25, 2009
Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm
Where: Newton White Mansion, 2708 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville, Maryland 20721
Cost: Free

Overview
Recognize the impact of :
  • street life on shaping attitudes towards education,violence, crime, manhood and masculinity
  • Learn more practical ways to promote healthy lifestyle alternatives to violence and crime
  • Learn strategies to work with the family to address anger, aggression and societal frustration
REGISTRATION IS MANDATORY SPACE IS LIMITED!
CALL 301.265.8446 TO REGISTER NOW!
CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST & LUNCH PROVIDED

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

PGCPS' Blog is an International Success

12 countries/territories have visited the PGCPS Parental Engagement Blog.

United States
Canada
United Kingdom
Belgium
India
Italy
Ireland
Mexico
Philippines
Azerbaijan
Germany
United Arab Emirates

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Communication Between Home and School: A Key to Student Success

In 2008, 91% of parents surveyed by the Department of Family and Community Outreach indicated they have ongoing and open communication with their child's school.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

BECOME A MENTOR...SUPPORT THE SUCCESS OF A STUDENT

video

The goal of Connecting Generations in America's Classroom is to improve the academic performance, attendance and civic pride amongst all students who attend Prince George’s County Public Schools. Research is clear that a strong mentoring program has the potential to have a long and lasting impact on the lives of today’s youth. Connecting Generations in America's Classroom will employ Digital Network Group’s (DNG) Kinetic Potential Mentoring and Learning System (KPML).

KPML is a methodology that reverse engineers the career development process for youth living in local communities through the use of information technology. A Computer Assisted Mentoring System (CAMS) serves as a virtual pipeline for youth development by integrating multiple providers into a service coalition and accessing the services the students need when they need them most.

Should you have immediate questions, please do not hesitate to contact· Jim Smith, 301.883.8255, e-mail at jsmith@digitalnetworkgroup.net· Michael Robinson, 301.925.2535, e-mail at michael.robinson@pgcps.org

A Social Network for Parents of Prince George's County Public Schools Students

The Department of Family and Community Outreach’s Office of Parental Engagement has created a social network for parents of PGCPS students. The social network is called “PARENTS AND PGCPS” and will hopefully provide an effective means for parents to stay connected with each other. Through the use of the social network parents and community members can create new social experiences that are:
  • Unique
  • Informative
  • Networking
  • Career Enhancing

There is no cost to join the “PARENTS AND PGCPS” social network, simply click on the link http://parentsandpgcps.ning.com/main/invitation/new and sign up. Join the many who have already become members. Once you become a member you can create your own social network within the network such as:

  • Alumni of PGCPS
  • Alumni of _____ high school
  • PGCPS Parents of High School Students
  • Etc.

For more information contact: Michael A. Robinson at 301.925.2535.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Parents and Students Really Benefit From Classroom Observations

Over the past two years Prince George's County Public Schools have put forth an increased effort to have parents visit their child’s school and observe their classrooms. The push has proven to be successful from a pure numbers perspective, as we have seen the quantity of classroom observations jump from 500 in 2006-2007 to 8,500 in 2007-2008 and to over 40,000 in 2008-2009. However, while the numbers are impressive, they do not speak to what parents and family members are saying about their visit(s) and the benefits to them and their child.

In a survey of over 500 parents, overwhelmingly parents stated their visit was beneficial and informative. A closer look revealed parent classroom observations are a successful tool to increase and maintain parental engagement. Below, you will find the results of the survey.

Today's visit gave me a better understanding of my child's day-to-day school routine.
Not at all (2.7%)
Somewhat (21.2%)
Very much (76%)


Today's visit gave me some ideas how to help my child at home.
Not at all (3%)
Somewhat (23%)
Very much (74%)


The classroom activities were useful, exciting and engaging for my children.
Not at all (1.2%)
Somewhat (20.2%)
Very much (78%)


As a result of today's visit, I am more likely to participate in other school sponsored activities.
Not at all (.5%)
Somewhat (18.2%)
Very much (81.3%)


I felt welcome and comfortable during today's visit.
Not at all (.8%)
Somewhat (5.0%)
Very much (94.3%)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

FATHER'S DAY RALLY : Saturday, June 20, 2009 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC


WHY?
Over 2 million children in the United States live in Fatherless homes. As a result, child/teen statistics related to violence, failure in academics, broken relationships and more, have grown to an alarming rate. Active involvement of both parents has proven to be direct link to child success in personal life decisions, academics, and beyond.

"The National Rally for Responsible Fatherhood, On Behalf Of America’s Children: A Call to Personal Responsibility" will take place on Saturday, June 20, 2009 Lincoln Memorial In Washington, DC from 10:00am-2:00pm.

A few of the guest speakers will be:
  • Roland Warren, President, National Fatherhood Initiative
  • Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia
  • Joe Jones, President & CEO, The Center for Urban Families, Baltimore, MD
  • Ed Gordon, Emmy Award Winning Broadcaster & Founder of Daddy's Promise
For more Rally information please contact the Fatherhood Website at:
www.fathersdayrally.com www.npclstrongfamilies.comwww.fatherhoodconference.com
For more information click on http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15835429/
For a copy of the agenda click on http://www.fathersdayrally.com/images/Fathers_Day_Rally_2009,_Drafted_Agenda_FOR_WEBSITE.pdf

President-elect Barack Obama Named 2009 Father of the Year


President-elect Barack Obama, has been named 2009 Father of the Year by the Fatherhood Education Institute because of his efforts to encourage parenting skills and responsibility. To read the full story click on http://www.fatherhood-edu.org/pdfs/BarackObamaFatheroftheYear.pdf

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Parent Participation is on the Rise in PGCPS

By: Michael A. Robinson, Coordinating Supervisor, Parental Engagement

Parent participation in Prince George's County Public Schools is on the rise. A quick review of data collected throughout the 2009-2010 school year by the Department of Family and Community Outreach clearly revealed parents, guardians and other significant family members have embraced their role in the academic success of students.

While the data has not been completely analyzed, early results point to a major shift in the relationship between home and school. What was once a relationship in many cases built on limited trust and even less communication, has now moved to one of increased communication and an improved understanding of each partner’s role in the process of parental engagement and involvement.

In Prince George's County Public Schools there are many factors which have contributed to the rise in parent participation. A primary factor has been the efforts of over 220 Parent Liaisons. Parent Liaisons have the specific task of engaging parents, by developing Parental Engagement Plans designed to enhance the academic success of students, through parent involvement.

Several Parent Liaison Parental Engagement Plans included innovative communication approaches to reach parents and family members with non-traditional schedules. Many of the Parental Engagement Plans implemented a wider use of technology as a means to keep parents informed, while offering an opportunity to become engaged in ways never before offered. As new ways to communicate to parents were explored, lots of the time-honored forms of communication remain the center-piece of engagement plans. Utilization of new and innovative communication approaches, combined with the traditional methods has proven to be a great success in Prince George's County Public Schools’ efforts to increase parental engagement for the 2008-2009 school year.

Below are a few schools with high rates of Parent Participation. This indicates that at least a ____% of the parents based on student enrollment have participated in a minimum of one non sports related activity:
  • Arrowhead ES has a Parent Participation Rate of 75%
  • Bond Mill ES has a Parent Participation Rate of 95%
  • Heather Hills ES has a Parent Participation Rate of 80%
  • Owens Road ES has a Parent Participation Rate of 85%
  • Paint Branch ES has a Parent Participation Rate of 72%
  • Princeton ES has a Parent Participation Rate of 95%

An Interview with Parent Liaison Luz Santizo of Calverton Elementary


Q. How do you define parental engagement as it relates to education?

A. Parent engagement is the participation of parents in every facet of their children’s education. Parents are the primary educator. When parents are engaged, it makes a big difference in the children’s education and life.


Q. What are some of the major barriers to parental engagement today versus years ago as it relates to education?

A.

- Parents working extra hours
- Language barrier
- Lack of education
- Lack of motivation
- Parents don’t know the American Education System
- Some parents don’t feel welcome at school


Q. What are some of ways parents can become more engaged with their children around school?

A. Parents can be more productive partners if schools:
- Provide parents with clear information in both languages
- Establish times for conferences that are convenient for the parents
- Use technology such as e-mail and voice mail in both languages
- Do surveys in both languages
- Create a volunteer program for ESOL and not ESOL parents
- Create a two ways communication system in both languages
- Support parents with workshops in both languages
- Link parents to community programs
- Include parents on decision making


Q. What do you believe the school system has to do in order increase parental engagement?
A. Schools have to create a plan identifying the mission, vision, values and goals including parents’ opinions. In PG County the ESOL population is growing every day. We need to educate parents. We need to teach them how the American system works. Those parents should be included in the PTA, programs, meeting, etc. It is important to have a bilingual Parent Liaison in each school to provide services to International parents. Parental involvement does not happen by accident. Schools need to have a plan to increase parental involvement. See the needs, set goals, activities and evaluate the progress of the plan.

Q. In your opinion, do you believe active parental engagement has an impact on the persistence of students at the secondary and/or postsecondary level?
A. Yes, I believe active parental engagement has an impact on the persistence of students at any level. As students get older peer pressure is a major issue in their life. When parents are involved or engaged in their child’s education it helps to minimize problems with peer pressure in the school.

Helping Your Middle School Teen to Learn How To Study

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (2007) lists the following ways that parents can help their middle school teen:

It is no surprise to you as parents that good study skills can help your child succeed in school. Your job is to provide a nurturing and supportive environment so that teens want to learn. Now that your teens are taking more courses, you can begin to teach them how to develop their personalized schedule, which includes school and activities outside of school. This schedule can be kept in their rooms or on the refrigerator, as well as in their school notebooks.

At home, teach them how to study smart and efficiently by:
• Identifying a comfortable place in the home to study
• Clearing off the desk or workplace; only include relevant material
• Making sure they have all the materials they need
• Encouraging them to study at the same time every day if possible. Regular study time is ideal
• Making sure the space is quiet (Some teens like studying with music, and that’s fine as long as you see results)
• Taking them to the library, recommending it as another place to study
• Making sure they know how to use the different resources in the library. This will be helpful when they have to write research papers
• Making sure they understand the difference between doing homework, reviewing homework and studying for exams.

Building a Foundation for Educational Success for Your Middle School Teen

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (2007) lists the following ways that parents can help their middle school teen:

Identify Your Teens Interest: Your teen is becoming their own person. As a parent you should encourage and support your teen’s interests, and you can do so in several ways:

Spend time with teens and listen to what they talk about
• Look at what they read for fun
• Watch TV with teens and listen to their reactions
• Encourage them to participate in after-school activities
• If they like music, consider private music lessons
• If they like sports, encourage sports in and/or out of school
• Make time to attend concerts and athletic competitions
• Talk about the importance of developing and sustaining friendships through extracurricular activities. Helping them learn more about what they enjoy shows them that you value their interests and, by extension, that you value them. This will help you better communicate with your teen.


Communication: Some parents and teens complain about their inability to communicate with one another. It doesn’t have to be this way––Here are some tips that might help:

Spend time together (i.e., playing games and outdoor activities)
• Find time to talk and listen, over meals, in the car or while watching TV
together
• Talk about risky and responsible behavior
• Discuss the importance of having and honoring values
• Ask other parents how they communicate
• Be a good role model when communicating with your own friends
• Listen and do not judge
• Ask teens what they think about certain issues
• Independent of what grades teens receive, always ask them what they think.
You learn more when you ask questions

An Interview with Parent Liaison Vanessa Hamlet of Clinton Grove ES


Q. How do you define parental engagement as it relates to education?
A. Parental engagement as it relates to education is simply a parent or guardian’s involvement in what their child is being taught and how they are learning. Parental Engagement also is being an integral part of the decision making process as it relates to the goals for heir child, which we believe is to successfully graduate from high school.

Q. What are some of the major barriers to parental engagement today versus years ago as it relates to education?
A. As it relates to education, the major barrier to parental engagement today versus years ago is the lack of a true nurturing partnership between home, school, and the community. Parents have difficulties developing trusting relationships with staff and leadership that change often. Teachers and staff easily become frustrated with families that do not comprehend specific ways in which they can support their child’s educational advancement. And besides making financial contributions to the school, community businesses and organizations struggle with their idea of a mutually beneficial relationship in this triad. Developing and maintaining long-lasting bonds between these three domains have a very low probability compared to years ago without a definitive and purposeful plan.

Q. What are some of ways parents can become more engaged with their children around school?
A. There is an enormous amount of opportunities for parents to become more engaged with their children around school issues. The core opportunities are visiting their child’s classroom, having frequent correspondence with their child’s teacher(s) via phone, meetings, or on-line communication, and participating in parent workshops. The workshops focus on the most prevalent information for parents, provides a forum that allows for questions and feedback, as well as teach skills for application.

Q. What do you believe the school system has to do in order increase parental engagement?
A. The school system currently has exceptional programs to promote and increase parental engagement. The Parent Assisting Teacher program, Parent Visitation Program, Parent Volunteer Program, formal parent-teacher organizations, parental involvement with the School Improvement Plan, and the assignment of school-based parent liaison personnel with duties and responsibilities tailored to meet the needs of parents all have impact on the lives of children and the overall progress of schools. Data collected within the past 2 ½ years from the Department of Family and Community Outreach is demonstrative of this fact. The school system needs only to be patient in the process of a naturally occurring culture shift for caregivers.

Q. In your opinion, do you believe active parental engagement has an impact on the persistence of students at the secondary and/or postsecondary level?
A. Absolutely! In my opinion, for children to be ready to receive the knowledge acquired at school, there needs to be structure. Of course, provision of the basic food, shelter, clothing, and love is a given. However, structure determines how fluent the process of learning will be. Structure occurs where there are identified rules to be followed, consistency in enforcing the rules, and accountability when the rules are not adhered to. Parents provide the accountability for structure. Children at the secondary and/or postsecondary level experience significant physical and developmental changes. Parental engagement through a child’s journey of growth will be the key ingredient to their survival and success of these changes. Therefore, parental engagement in my opinion, would motivate, guide, and serve as a model of perseverance for children.

Monday, June 1, 2009

50 Ways Parents Can Help Schools

The Center for School Change (n.d.) lists the following ways that parents can become involved in schools:
• Come to school to assist.
1. Share information with a student or class about a hobby.
2. Share information with a student or a class about a career.
3. Share information with students about a country you visited or lived in.
4. Tutor one or a small group of students in reading, math, or other area.
5. Help coach an athletic team.
6. Help check a student's written work.
7. Help put out a school or classroom newsletter (can also be done at home).
8. Help sew or paint a display.
9. Help build something (such as a loft in a classroom or new playground).
10. Help students work on a final exhibition or project (can also be done at home or workplace).
11. Help answer the schools' phone.
12. Help plan a new playground for the school.
*13. Help plan a theme-based presentation for students.
*14. Help present a theme-based program for students.
*15. Demonstrate cooking from a particular country or culture to students.
*16. Share a particular expertise with faculty (such as use of computers, dealing with disruptive students).
17. Help students plan and build an outdoor garden or other project to beautify the outside of the school.
18. Help coach students competing in an academic competition (such as Odyssey of the Mind, Future Problem Solving, Math Masters).
19. Help bring senior citizens to school to watch a student production.

• Help arrange learning opportunities in the community.
1. Help set up an internship or apprenticeship for a student at your business, organization, or agency.
*2. Host a one-day 'shadow study' for one or a small group of students about your career in business or some other organization.
3. Go on a local field trip with a teacher and a group of students.
4. Go on an extended (3-5 day) cross-country field trip with a teacher & students.
*5. Contact a particular local business or organization regarding possible cooperation.
*6. Help to create a natural area outside the building where students can learn.Serve on an advisory or decision-making committee.
7. Serve on the school-wide site council.
8. Serve on a school committee that reports to the site council.
9. Serve on a district committee representing the school.
10. Serve as an officer in the school's PTA.
11. Help organize a parent organization for the school.
12. Help design a parent and or student survey for the school.
13. Help conduct and or tabulate results of a parent survey regarding the school.Share information or advocate for the school.
14. Serve as a member of a 'telephone tree' to distribute information quickly.
15. Write a letter to legislators about the school.
16. Write a letter to school board members about the school.
17. Go to a school board meeting to advocate for the school.
18. Go to another school to provide information about this school.
19. Help design a brochure or booklet about the school.
20. Help translate information from the school into a language other than English.
21. Help translate at a parent-teacher conference for people who don't speak English well.
22. Provide transportation to a parent-teacher conference for a parent who needs a ride.
23. Write an article for publication in a magazine about the school's activities.
24. Help arrange for a political leader (mayor, city council, state representative, member of Congress) to visit the school.Increase financial resources available to the school.
25. Help write a proposal that would bring new resources to the school.
26. Donate materials to the school.
27. Arrange for a business or other organization to donate materials to the school.
28. Help with a fundraiser for the school.Help other parents develop their parenting skills.
29. Help teach a class for parents on ways they can be stronger parents.
30. Help produce a videotape for parents on ways they can be more

Photos of the 2010 Parental Engagement Conference

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The Middle School Years

Visits From Engaged Parents and Dedicated Educators