It’s Parent Engagement Month in Georgia, a time when we recognize the enormous impact of involved parents on the educational achievement of all students. Research shows that when schools and families support each other, students of all backgrounds and various abilities achieve at higher levels. Children with involved parents tend to achieve more, attend school more frequently, consistently complete homework and show positive motivation toward their schooling. And when parents get involved, their children aren’t the only ones who benefit – all children at the school are affected.
Often, the hard work these parents put forth goes unnoticed and unappreciated – because it happens in the quiet, out of the spotlight, in small moments helping with homework or reading a story at night or volunteering in class. It’s those small moments, repeated throughout the life of a child, that can change the course of that student’s future.
Our parent engagement team gave parents a chance to share their “get involved moments”; reading through them paints a picture of the big difference these seemingly small moments can make. Here are a few of those stories:
“I assisted my daughter with her volcano project, which we built out of paper-mache. She also did a report about volcanoes. This gave me the opportunity to spend time with her. It allowed me to learn as she taught, instead of me being the teacher.”
-Elaine Mathews, Westside High School
“My favorite moments have all been helping the teachers. It builds relationships that last a lifetime and they are always so appreciative for any help received - big or small! I am able to run errands for the teachers as well as help with classroom parties and clerical work. What a joy it is when the teachers know me by name, not because my children are always in trouble, but because they know I support what they do.”
-Ramona Lunsford, Perry Middle School
“About four years ago I was in school and graduated with a 3.97 GPA. After seeing her dad in school getting straight As, my daughter wanted to do the same. For the past two and half years she has been a straight A student. The only thing I have ever asked was that she do her best.”
-William Benningfield, Warner Robins Middle School
“My best Get Involved Moment was teaching my son how to read. To me, reading is the most important skill one needs in life. If you teach someone to read you open the whole world of knowledge to them. Now my son reads for fun, which is great to see.”
- Jennifer Castro, Warner Robins Middle School
“I realized that my son was having a little trouble writing his name and the rest of the class wasn’t. So every afternoon when he got home we would work on his name. The day he didn’t have to trace his name was the best day for me because he was so proud of himself that he did it like a big boy and at that moment tears filled my eyes and I was so proud of him. I felt that us working together as a team was the best thing ever.”
-Charlie Wisham, Perry Primary School
“My daughter attended Quail Run Elementary School. At that time, I tutored some students in reading. One day, the student looked up at me and said, ‘Thank you for helping me.’ From that moment forward, I realized that I volunteered for ALL of the students and parents...not just my child.”
- Elaine Malone, Perry High School
To each of Georgia’s parents: thank you for the time you’ve spent tracing names, tutoring young readers, working on reports, and serving as encouragers, teachers, and a constant reminder to your children that it’s worthwhile to work hard and do their best.
It makes all the difference in the world – to your children, and many others.