Parent Engagement Programs Take Off, Improve Academic Performance

Parent Engagement Programs Take Off, Improve Academic Performance
Posted on 10/23/2017
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barber shop books and boys photoWhen parents are engaged in their child's education, their academic performance improves. It is this belief that drives Angie Brown to always be on the lookout for new ideas to engage parents and their children.

Brown, who coordinates parent engagement and community outreach for Lakota Local Schools, spearheads events such as Community Fanfares, students helping senior citizens at Partners in Prime, Barber Shop, Books and Boys, as well as many others throughout the district.

Brown’s goal is to have parents actively engaged in their child's education. This may be attending a school-sponsored event, or lending a hand when a principal reaches out for help. For example, the principal at Woodland Elementary School reached out to Brown a few years ago, troubled by the number of tardy students. As a result, the "Get to School on Time Club" was born. As children walked to school, the parents would call one another to let them know that the kids were coming down the street. Parents would then go outside to say "good morning" and "have a great day" to each child. This grass roots effort grew to include 80 children.

Barber Shop, Books and Boys takes place the first Tuesday of every month. Boys in grades one through six can attend with their fathers, grandfathers, uncles or any male role model in their life. They are able to visit the barber shop and enjoy reading as a small community, while receiving a free haircut (see photo).

Another example of encouraging parents engagement is Community Fanfares. Parents and community members are encouraged to join Lakota staff members at schools prior to student arrival. The students are greeted by cheers, high-fives and words of encouragement to start their day (see photo from Adena Elementary).

Brown believes in the 'seven touches of seven,' meaning it may take seven invitations before a parent attends one of the outreach events. She and her team of 20 parent ambassadors continue to reach out to parents regularly, saying, "There is a difference between being involved and being engaged."photo of community fanfare at Adena

A new opportunity for parents will take place on Wednesday, November 8 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at Lakota's Central Office, 5572 Princeton Road. The workshop will focus on building a growth-oriented home that can empower children to engage in challenging work, rise up after failure and establish beliefs about their abilities that will fuel them throughout their lives. Participants will leave with engaging ideas, techniques and ways to provide productive feedback that will transform their home and inspire their children.

For a complete list of programs and events happening throughout the district, visit the community page of www.lakotaonline.com.