Parents Pitching in at School
Schools attempt to find out what different parents are willing and able to contribute to their child's education and to the school. Schools that are serious about increasing parent and family involvement accept and value any contributions that parents can make. As a parent, what can you do to give even more to the school, and to encourage the school to keep asking you and other parents to be involved?
After open house or "Parent's Night," think about ways you can add something to the efforts of the teacher in your child's class (or other teachers), or what you can do to help the principal achieve his or her goals for the year. If you and every other parent do just one thing to support the school, the quality of your child's education and the learning and social environment of the school will improve.
If you can do something significant for the school, that's great, but even if you contribute in some small way to a large project, you can show your support. One parent organized a fund-raising campaign in a middle school that enabled parents to purchase bricks embossed with family member's names and birth dates. Each brick was added to a courtyard which not only beautified the school, but also gave each "bricklayer" a sense of pride and involvement.
Other schools ask parents to make learning materials or to read books onto tapes so that kids with reading problems can listen to all of the great stories that are in the school library. In one high school, a father organized a family work weekend in the community. Parents, kids, and their teachers worked together to repair and repaint an unused gymnasium. After transforming it into a community activities center, they finished the day with a delicious potluck supper. Working together on this project gave everyone a shared experience that changed their relationships inside and outside of the classroom. This kind of involvement helps strengthen not only a school, but an entire community.
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