Parent & Community Involvement - Wednesday



Parent and Community Involvement
The PAC Team

Catherine Harper
Cicely Minter
Jodi Chamberlain
Lauren Evans
Marni Steinhardt




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Helping you to get your parents and community involved in your classroom!


Make it a WAY of life!
Educational research shows that there is an increased need for more parental involvement in schools. When parents are involved in a child’s school and education, children have higher grades and standardized test scores, improved behavior at home and school, and better social skills and adaptation to school. The best way to become involved in your child’s education is to provide an at-home learning environment that is a support system for your child. However, contrary to popular belief, there needs to be more. Other ways to be involved are communicating with the classroom teacher, discussing school activities with your child, chaperoning field trips, participating in virtual field trips in the classroom, reading books to small groups, volunteering and supporting school sponsored events, and many more.
Research also shows that teachers tend to give kids more attention when they know their parents are more likely to be involved in their child’s academic achievement in the school. Parents can do this by volunteering to participate in classroom activities and school events. There is research that shows that parents of all socioeconomic levels have the same opportunities when it comes to getting involved. There is no better and inexpensive way to boost your child’s academic performance than to be an involved parent. Making your child’s school life a part of your life is essential to academic achievement!
Lastly, not only can you improve your own child’s self-esteem by getting involved, you can also help to improve teacher morale! When teachers feel connected to the parents and the community, they feel more invested in their students’ academic performance. They also tend to be happier and more enthusiastic about their work.

Model for Parent Involvement

Scholastic

Great website to get all kinds of ideas for how to get parents involved in your classroom!


Social Studies
Parents / Grandparents can talk about their experiences in certain events in History during the time those events are being studies in Social Studies/Science.
Math
Einstein’s Math group – Parents can lead a fun challenge math group during lunch.
Parent Read-Alouds
Kids Book Club – Parents can lead a book chat group during lunch.
Tutoring
Parents can tutor students either one-on-one or in small groups.
Field Trips (off school premises, virtual)
Have parents volunteer to chaperone field trips off campus. If you have too many volunteers, have a drawing to pick your chaperones.
For on campus and virtual field trips, you can have parents come in and assist with any activities.

Community Service Projects
Assisted Living – class can take a fieldtrip to an assisted living location and visit/read to the elderly.
Elderly Visit the School – Invite elderly to the school and classroom. Interview and discuss their lives and historical experiences.
Charity – Students can lead the school in a clothes, food or book drive for those in need in the community
School-to-School – Students can become pen-pals with students at another school.
PTA/PTO
Do you know the difference between PTA & PTO? The difference lies in the governing body – PTA is part of a national organization, PTO is run by an internal body within the school.
Newsletters/Calendars
All too often, we wonder what our kids are doing in school; these academic newsletters and calendars help to inform parents of what we are doing in the classroom and helps them to continue to reinforce the learning at home!
Journals/ Interviews
Journals help us to track progress in our students, but they can also help you to get your parents involved in a child’s writing.
Career Day
What a great way to show your students all of the different jobs they may be able to do when they grow up!
Room Parents
Organize field trip transportation, grade parent dinners, classroom volunteers, etc.


We’re All in this Together!
“One way for schools to reach out into the community might involve starting conversations and planning activities with churches, temples, mosques, local ethnic groups, and community-based organizations. Schools can gain additional resources and a better understanding of their students' backgrounds by reaching out to their community organizations. Parents in these organizations may feel alienated from traditional educators, and they may welcome the schools' outreach efforts. Ultimately, when educators, community groups, and parents present a united front, they can become a powerful force for school reform.” (www.thirteen.org)
The most important aspect of getting your community involved in your school is the value it has on students. When children feel valued, they are more likely to learn healthy skills, remain enrolled in school, and avoid high-risk behaviors. When schools present a “negative” social climate, students are less likely to understand what it means to be a productive citizen later in life. When schools have great relationships within the community, the community is more likely to give more back, as well. Districts and clusters that have great community partnerships are more apt to offer after-school programs and school-to-work programs later in their academic careers.


Here’s some information on how to get your community involved in the curriculum month by month!
September
School Lunches month
Cafeteria worker
Tie w/food pyramid cafeteria_worker2.jpg


October
Fire Safety month
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November
Dental Health month
Dental hygienist dentist2.jpg

December
Baker baker.jpg

Tie w/seasonal foods, terms, etc.


January
Elected official school_election.jpg

Local mayor-head of the community; even the student council president


February
Policeman/policewoman police.jpg

Tie w/’Never talk to strangers’, ‘Say NO to drugs’ etc; parents follow rules also: stop signs, speed limits, etc.


March
Veterinarian vet2.jpg

Tie w/Dr. Seuss: The Cat in the Hat and Clifford the Big Red Dog; Fiction/nonfiction; care of real animals


April
Environmental awareness month

Earth Day: April 22
Nursery worker/owner nursery.jpg
Tie w/living & nonliving things


May
Life guard lifeguard.jpg

Tie w/water safety; upcoming summer vacation: pools, the beach, etc.




Resources

http://childparenting.about.com/cs/parentinvolvement/a/parentschool.htm
~ Educational Research on the value of having parents who are involved in your classroom!
http://educationalissues.suite101.com/article.cfm/parent_involvement_in_the_classroom
~ Information about the value of having involved parents and links to other websites.
http://www.teachingfirst.net/Parinvolve.htm
~ Ideas and links to other websites
http://www.acei.org/sparkersSumm09.pdf
~ Story Letters to get parents involved in their child’s writing
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/familycommunity/index_sub1.html
~ Information on how to get your community involved
http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/Extrel/pub/GettingInvolved.pdf
~ Great brochure to help you get started