When it comes to childrens education, parent involvement is key.
Thats a statement with which every educator will wholeheartedly agree. In addition, it happens to be one of the founding principals of the National PTA and the impetus behind PTA Take Your Family to School Week, February 13-19, 2011.
If you do the math
Welcoming Schoolsand thats the theme of the PTAs Take Your Family to School Week celebrations.
+ Involved Parents
Introduced in 2006, PTA Take Your Family to School Week offers a special opportunity to connect families with their childrens school experiences, according to James Martinez, a spokesperson for the National PTA.
|--Photo courtesy of National PTA|
PTA Take Your Family to School Week coincides with PTA Founders Day (February 17). It commemorates the day in 1897 when the PTA began its work of encouraging parent involvement in childrens education, Martinez added.
This year, PTA leaders are working with principals and teachers to plan special events throughout the week to motivate parents to step away from the daily grind and into their childrens school. The PTA Take Your Family to School Week Planning Guide shares dozens of ideas for involving families. Education World is pleased that the PTA has allowed us to share ten of those ideas below. The Guide provides many more ideas to help ensure a successful celebration in your school.
Celebrate your school's diversity with a mural. Provide the paints and banner paper and invite all families to illustrate some aspect of their heritage. Hang the mural at a school entrance for everyone to see.
|--Poster for 2008s Take Your Family to School Week courtesy of National PTA|
Invite a local historian or long-time community member to bring history home for students and families. Have the speaker talk about the community's original inhabitants and some of its leading members. Combine this with a brief history of your schools PTA.
International Food Night
Introduce families to foods from around the world with a buffet dinner. Label each dish; include the country of origin. Also provide educational information on the countries represented. (Source: Mary Deterding Elementary School, Carmichael, California)
Saturday Success Academy
Offer parents workshops on such topics as parenting skills, graduation expectations, financing college, test-taking skills, and computer skills while students participate in review sessions for course exams and standardized tests. (Source: Frederick Douglass High School, Atlanta, Georgia)
Provide board games for families to play in teams or as individuals. Organize tournaments to help families get to know new people.
Valentine's Day Parent-Child Lunch
Invite families to join their special valentines -- their children -- for a school lunch. Decorate the cafeteria for the event. (Source: McIntyre Middle School, Montgomery, Alabama)
Career and Job Fair
Introduce students to a variety of career and job opportunities. Ask a select group of parents to talk in detail about what they do. Foster small group discussions and show-and-tell by providing each parent with a display area. (Source: Laurel Elementary School, Marshall, North Caroliona)
Student Art Exhibition
Display students' photographs, paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, and other artwork in the school library and hallways. Invite families to a VIP opening, complete with appetizers and refreshments, to admire the art and meet the artists.
Family-Student-Faculty Sports Event
Organize games of softball, kickball, volleyball, or basketball. Have parents, students, and teachers compete against each other, or mix up the teams.
For additional ideas, including ten more events listed below, see the PTA Take Your Family to School Week Planning Guide.
Article by Gary Hopkins
Copyright © 2010 Education World
Originally published 01/21/2008
Last updated 11/10/2010