Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mrs. Kimberly K. Parker, discusses NOTE TO SELF: GIVE MORE


For nearly 27 years I’ve consistently kept a journal. At times my only confidant in the wee hours of the morning, the empty pages struggle to capture dislodged thoughts. There are neither limits nor boundaries to restrict my scribbling of elation, pity, or “What in the world am I going to cook for dinner tonight?” In the end, room is made for clarity sake; I feel lighter and capable of taking on the day.

I find great solace in journaling in my closet…literally. I just can’t wait to sit on the pillow located behind the door and extend my legs over my shoes and sneakers. Now and again, I’ll begin by revisiting what I’ve written in the past. Page after page reports how I’ve grown or where I’m stagnant. Both my accomplishments and dreams deferred serves as a guide for next steps and inspire me to always seek change from within.

I have noticed a common thread laced throughout my scribbling of late. My note to self is simply to give more. Far be it from me to mislead you into thinking I am rolling in material possessions and that my bank accounts can support such a charge. On the contrary, in the past three years my family has experienced employment terminations, an up-side-down mortgage, college tuition, and the insatiable palates of three growing children. In spite of that, my desire to give more greets me every waking morning.

Giving has been germane to my existence for as long as I can remember. Some think I exercise this principle to a fault. Others ask the question, “Well, what have they done for you lately?” But, I’m not dismayed. There is great satisfaction in blessing others and knowing that small acts of kindness enhances lives. In fact, I’m just paying it forward because both strangers and relatives alike consistently give to me and my family.

Excitedly I anticipate the opportunities to give more in unlimited fashion! Whether it’s doing hair for my girlfriend who has four daughters, teaching children how to write effectively, blogging more for this great parental engagement network, or springing a new recipe on my family, there’s no stopping me. I will take heed to my note to self. I will give more.

Kimberly K. Parker is the President and CEO of Writing Momma Publishing, LLC ( To date, she has written three books and has helped nine children between the ages of nine and nineteen write and publish books of their own. Leave a comment about this blog below and visit Kimberly’s website at Once there, sign up to receive her monthly newsletter. In return, Kimberly will give you a collection of her inspirational postcards “Keep It Moving with Kimberly!” while supplies last. Kimberly is a professional writer, author, publisher, and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children.

Overview and 3A Framework; Organizing for Effective Parent Engagement

Boost Student Performance with Literacy Programs Buck Lodge Middle School (BLMS) has the largest Hispanic students in Prince Georges County Public Schools in Maryland. This translates to the highest concentration of second language learners. After reviewing scores on the Maryland State Assessments, the school decided to focus on increasing student’s reading scores. In partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. and the Tellin’ Stories Project of Teaching for Change the school staff reached out to families and involved them in literacy activities, 25 Book Reading Challenge, and school events to help enforce the importance of literacy both at home and school. The results were:

Over 300 students met the 25 Book Challenge
50 students read over 50 books
Overall student reading scores went up by 7.7%
Hispanic student scores increased by 12.1%
LEP scores increased by 19.3%

Special Education student scores went up by 11.2% in 2009 from the previous year

The act of engaging families in this school-wide effort led parents to feel empowered and increased their ability to monitor and support learning at home. This engagement did not only pertain to an increase in reading outcomes, but also an increase in family participation at school events, decision-making, advocacy and volunteerism.

For more information email Susan Shaffer, President of Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. at or visit

Photos of the 2010 Parental Engagement Conference

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The Middle School Years

Visits From Engaged Parents and Dedicated Educators