Parent Involvement in Education: 4 Key Tips (page 2)

Parent Involvement in Education: 4 Key Tips

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Updated on Aug 24, 2011

Speaking to your child is just as important for literacy growth as reading to him. Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director of Rhode Island Kid’s Count, a campaign to close the gap in reading levels between low-income students and their higher income peers, says literacy-rich interaction between a parent and a child is key. In a small snippet of conversation, hundreds of words and images are exchanged. Those words are important building blocks to a rich vocabulary.

Talk to them about anything and everything—how a thermometer works, what colors things are, the lyrics to songs. It is important to create a literacy-rich home environment at the earliest age possible.

  1. Open up communication between Pre K/K and elementary school teachers.

Experts agree that preschool is a fundamental, yet often overlooked part of schooling. Commonly, the PreK and K-12 systems do not communicate, which leaves room for gaps in learning, and opens the possibility of under-preparing or over-preparing a child for the elementary years.

“You absolutely have to both start earlier and have this integration and connection, every bit of the way, from birth to third grade,” says Bryant. Don’t undervalue the preschool years. Find out what your child is learning, what they will be learning and how you can prepare them every step of the way.

  1. Use your resources.

The first stop in locating resources is your local library. Not only does it provide reading material, it is also a great place to meet other parents. You can also use the library to research additional community hubs in your area, such as the YMCA, local nonprofits or after school programs.

Take for example, the Philadelphia School District’s innovative idea: Parent University. It is the school district’s innovative new series of workshops, created specifically for parents. They offer 52 different classes, including “English as a Second Language”, “Educational Conversations”, and even a class called “How to Make Parent-Teacher Conferences Work for Your Child”. All of these classes are free for parents in the district, and most are aimed at training parents to be more involved in their children’s education.

One of the best things you can do to help your child is to educate yourself. Find out what resources your school provides for parents and get yourself involved.

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