Building Parent Engagement in Schools

Building Parent Engagement in Schools

Building Parent Engagement in Schools

Building Parent Engagement in Schools

Synopsis

"Building Parent Engagement in Schools" is an introduction to educators, particularly in lower-income and urban schools, who want to promote increased parental engagement in both the classroom and at home--an effort required by provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It is both an authoritative review of research that confirms the positive impact of parental involvement on student achievement and a guide for implementing proven strategies for increasing that involvement.

With "Building Parent Engagement in Schools," educators can start to develop a hybrid culture between home and school, so that school can serve as a cultural bridge for the students. Filled with the voices of real educators, students, and parents, the book documents a number of parent-involved efforts to improve low-income communities, gain greater resources for schools, and improve academic achievement. Coverage includes details of real initiatives in action, including programs for home visits, innovative uses of technology, joint enterprises like school/community gardens, and community organization efforts.

Excerpt

It is well established that meaningful parent engagement in children’s educations increases student achievement. For this reason, No Child Left Behind and other federal and state mandates encourage schools to engage with parents and community members. For many teachers, administrators, librarians, and other staff members at schools, finding time in a busy work schedule to meet with parents can seem overwhelming. This book proposes a paradigm shift: a new way of looking at the roles which staff members and parents play in schools. By “engaging” parents as active players in the school community, rather than “involving” them in schoolcentered projects, school staff members can be energized rather than exhausted by their relationships to their communities. Our goal is to show educators that if they base community engagement on issues which motivate parents in authentic ways, and help them develop the power to act, then parents and community members can actually make school staff members’ jobs easier rather than harder.

This book is written as a handbook which illustrates simple steps which can be used to engage any community. The projects described have been carried out successfully by the two authors of the book, and have worked in a variety of challenging communities, including various minority and immigrant communities. The same approach would work with mainstream communities as well. It is our sincere hope that our readers will be able to engage parents in their school settings as a means of improving student success, and that this book can be a practical guide for beginning the process.

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