Support for parents through building community, providing information, and fostering strong home-school connections
As children’s first teachers, parents play an incredibly important role in their education. Yet the worlds of home and school are often separate, and can leave parents feeling isolated from their children’s school experiences. Providing parents with the opportunity to meet together as a community and explore the home-school connection can bridge the gap. In Link study groups, parents discuss what to expect at each stage of their child’s development, share ideas for creating a robust learning environment at home, and explore methods for communicating effectively with teachers and schools as they partner with them to support their children’s success.
Parent Leadership Teams
Parent involvement in education can take many forms, including a role in the decision-making process of the school. Parent leadership ensures a school-wide awareness of the family perspective as a factor in policy development and decisions. As parent leaders are identified and developed, they are able to reach out to other parents, expanding the scope of involvement and empowering parents to believe they can influence the quality of their children’s education. Everyone benefits from parent involvement in education. Positive relationships among families and staff create an environment of cooperation and ultimately benefit the children.
Parents on the Edge©
High school is a time of new challenges for both parents and students. As children move toward young adulthood, parents learn to adjust their support so that their children can become more independent. The Parents on the Edge study group provides opportunities for parents to focus on adolescent development, communication, and the changing expectations of both children and their parents. Like Parents in the Middle, this study group strengthens the school community by providing parents with a forum for sharing and learning together.
Parents in Transition©
The transition from elementary to middle school can be daunting for students and parents alike, and both are in need of support. In this study group for parents of fifth grade students, parents will learn about the developmental changes their children are going through, and discuss how to prepare themselves and their children for the world of middle school. Group members will have the opportunity to meet with parents of current middle schoolers at their child’s prospective school to “learn the ropes”, and begin building relationships within their new school community.
Parents in the Middle©
Adolescence is a strange and wonderful time, full of change and opportunity. The Parents in the Middle study group is designed specifically to support parents of young adolescents as their children undergo this period of incredible growth and transformation. Parents explore topics related to adolescent development – physical, psychological, social, emotional and cognitive, and discover new ways to connect with their increasingly independent children. The opportunity to share experiences and exchange ideas with other parents of adolescents is a key component of this group, and one cited often by parents as a critical support for them.
Book Clubs and Writing Workshops
Reading and writing workshops in the classroom enable children to share ideas and experiences, while getting to know more about themselves and each other. The same is true of parents who engage in similar activities. Through school-sponsored book clubs and writing workshops, parents will have the opportunity to read and respond to literature with some of the same strategies their children are exposed to in the classroom, enabling them to dialogue with their children using the language of school. Parents will also model for their children the joy to be found in reading a great book. Why should kids have all the fun?