Back to School: 6 Ways Communities Can Help Parents and Kids Succeed
- Parental involvement in education yields significant benefits for both students and schools.
- Students with engaged parents tend to have better academic outcomes, attendance rates, and behavior in the classroom.
- Schools and communities can employ a few concrete strategies to facilitate parental involvement and empower students to succeed at school and in life.
Raising and educating young people takes a group effort. Everyone—parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends, clergy, coaches—plays an important role. Within this collaboration, parental involvement is especially powerful and yields numerous benefits for both children and schools.
Research consistently demonstrates that children with engaged parents tend to have higher academic performance, better attendance rates, improved behavior, and increased motivation to learn. Moreover, schools benefit from parental involvement by gaining valuable insights, fostering a supportive environment, and enhancing overall student outcomes. When our kids are successful and able to show up as their best selves, our entire communities benefit from future generations of healthy, responsible, caring adults who are well prepared for meaningful work, relationships, and community involvement.
As families prepare for a brand new school year, here are six ways that schools and communities can empower students and their parents and caregivers throughout the school year.
1. Build strong communication channels between parents, children, and schools.
Schools can employ various strategies, such as regular newsletters, parent-teacher conferences, class websites, and digital communication platforms to keep parents informed about their child’s progress, school activities, and opportunities for involvement. Encouraging two-way communication ensures that parents feel valued and heard, enabling them to participate in their child’s educational journey.
2. Offer and promote parent education programs.
Parent education programs and workshops play a vital role in equipping parents with the necessary skills and knowledge to support their children’s learning. Schools can organize workshops on topics like homework assistance, effective communication strategies, and understanding curriculum standards. By empowering parents with the right tools, they become better equipped to engage in their child’s education and make informed decisions.
3. Encourage volunteering and participation.
Volunteering opportunities provide parents or other primary caregivers with hands-on involvement in their child’s school and community. Schools can offer various volunteering options, such as assisting in the classroom, organizing events, or participating in extracurricular activities.
Volunteering strengthens the parent-child bond, and it helps parents understand the educational environment and feel a sense of belonging within the school community.
When our kids are successful, entire communities benefit from future generations of healthy, responsible, caring adults who are well prepared for meaningful work, relationships, and community involvement.
4. Create family engagement events.
Family engagement events serve as an excellent platform to bring parents, children, and educators together. These events can range from family fun days, cultural celebrations, or academic showcases.
By organizing inclusive and interactive events, schools can create an inviting atmosphere that encourages parents to participate and form connections with other families, thereby enhancing the sense of community.
5. Leverage technology to give parents flexibility.
In today’s digital age, technology can bridge the gap between parents, children, and schools. Online platforms and applications give parents easy access to information about their child’s progress, assignments, and upcoming events. Schools can use technology for virtual parent-teacher conferences, webinars, or online discussion forums, enabling greater flexibility and engagement for parents who may have time constraints.
6. Partner with the community to enrich students’ educational experiences.
Collaborating with the wider community enriches the educational experience and broadens the opportunities available to students. Schools can engage local businesses, organizations, and professionals to offer mentorship programs, career guidance, or specialized workshops. Community partnerships foster real-world connections, expose children to diverse perspectives, and demonstrate the importance of community involvement.
Want to learn more about how communities can support parents and foster the academic achievement and well-being of our youth? Check out these resources based on our Raising Highly Capable Kids parenting program:
- Build a Network of Support
- 5 Summertime Tips to Support Children’s Development
- Why Parental Involvement Is Key to a Child’s Health
- Bonding to School
- School Engagement
- Achievement Motivation