Parents and school personnel agree, when parents are connected with their child's school and involved in their education, children are more likely to be successful in school. The Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers has compiled a list of ideas for parents who are working or busy with young children to stay connected with their child's school.
• Make homework a priority. Set high expectations of your children regarding schoolwork. Reading is so important. Be sure your child is reading at least 20 minutes each day.
• Start by making a plan with your children. Pick one night each week to sit down with them. Talk about what's going on at school, homework, schedules, friends, etc.
• Know when the school's monthly newsletter comes out. Some are mailed and some come home with the kids. They are filled with all kinds of school information.
• Do you have access to the Internet? All school staff are on the Internet throughout the day. Find out the teacher's and principal's email addresses and feel free to drop them notes. You can send an email anytime day or night. It's an easy way to keep in touch.
• Make it a priority to attend school meetings. It's a great way to meet other parents and school staff. Many times child care is provided.
• Make high school sporting events a family night out. Even if your child doesn't play, it's a fun, inexpensive and great way to get to know your child's teachers and classmates.
• Share part of yourself with the class. Everyone has something to offer children, a special job, hobby, talents, etc.
• Have lunch with your child at school. If you can't make it for lunch, get up a little early one day and have breakfast at school.
• Make a point of walking into school with your child, even if it's only once per month. School staff are happy to see parents on campus.
• If your work or child care schedule doesn't allow you to volunteer during the school day, ask if there is something you can do from home.
• If you have any questions, set up a meeting with your child's teacher or principal. You don't have to wait until parent-teacher conferences to talk about concerns you may have regarding your children.
• Tune in to your child's interests. Our schools and our communities offer all kinds of clubs. The Family Resource Centers can help connect your child with the right organization.
• Contact the Roaring Fork Family Resource Center in your area. Our offices are in the schools and we can help you connect with your child's school.
The Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers wish all students and their families a successful school year! If you are in need of more information, or resources for your child's health or academic achievement, please call the Family Resource Centers at 384-5694.
- Carolyn Hardin is the former executive director of the Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers, located in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. "Parent Talk" appears on the first and third Saturdays of the month. The column is the result of YouthZone, The Buddy Program, Family Visitor Programs, Kids First and Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers teaming up to provide parents with information and resources about strengthening family relationships.