be successful in school. Parental training will assist in closing the learning gap.
There has been strong support from the federal government to include the family in the early educational process of their children. For example, the federal government has created guidelines for the educational community to use in developing and implementing a comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary, interagency program of early intervention services for infants, toddlers, and their families ( Gallager, 1989).
According to much of the research in the field, the role of parental participation in educating young African-American males has been limited. This view has been interpreted to imply that parents had no interest in the education of their children ( Lynch & Stein, 1987; Marion, 1981). Several factors may contribute to the lack of parental participation and involvement. Many parents do not feel welcome in the schools, believing that they have little to offer in educating their children. Further, Cassidy ( 1988) reported that problems with scheduling, transportation, and knowledge of the instructional programs are partly responsible for poor parental participation.
Parents must feel that they are welcome in the school and be given responsibilities concerned with planning, collaborating with teachers, and policy-making. Parents should have an active role in planning and instructing their children and function as advocates for them if children are to profit significantly from their school experiences.
All persons benefit when an effective working relationship and rapport have been established. Parents should be informed on a regular basis of their children's progress in school. Schools should experiment with various ways of improving parental participation, since they are the foremost educators of their children.