Get Involved in Your Child's Life at School (page 2)
Parents have an important role in a child's life at school. Getting involved may seem challenging and time consuming, but the benefits are countless. According to the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), research shows that when parents are involved, students have
- Higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates
- Better school attendance
- Increased motivation and better self-esteem
- Lower rates of suspension
- Decreased use of drugs and alcohol
- Fewer instances of violent behavior
- Greater enrollment rates in postsecondary education.1
What To Do: How Do You Get Involved?
- Be there. While back-to-school nights and PTA meetings may be the last things you want to attend after a busy day at work, showing up at these and other school events shows your child that you care about his education. It also provides an opportunity for you to talk with other parents and teachers.
- Use e-mail and the Web to stay connected to your child's school. In addition to printed newsletters, many schools have Web sites that will keep you informed about school happenings. You may even be able to e-mail your child's teacher, but be sure that the teacher has announced that this is okay and be aware that it may take a teacher a few days to get back to you.
- Talk to your child's teacher or PTA leaders about how you can contribute to school events. Even if you can't chaperone a field trip or be in charge of a class party, you may be the right person to write an article for the newsletter, make goodies for school celebrations, or call other parents to get them involved.
- Join the PTA! No other school organization can keep you better informed about the activities going on in your child's school.
- Connect with other parents. Parenting isn't easy, but it's more manageable if you have a network of others who are going through the same experiences, even if your children are at different schools. One way to meet others is to set up an informal group of employees with school-aged children at your workplace. Go to lunch once a month and swap stories and advice about how you all stay connected to your children and involved in their schools!
1 National PTA: Help Your Child Succeed, last referenced 7/24/2007
- National Parent Teacher Association
- U.S. Department of Education. Education World: Parent Involvement in Schools!
- A to Z Teacher Stuff Network: Parent Involvement. Teachers have great ideas for involving parents. View their comments and suggestions.
- ProjectAppleseed.org: Parental Involvement Report Card Online
Reprinted with the permission of the Department of Health and Human Services.
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