Parent Involvement for the 21st Century
EDU 617 School, Family & Community Partnerships
Active community and parent involvement in a school is not automatic. It involves energy and labor on the part of the school, its staff and establishing relationship with parents and the community. The relationship must also be sustained and continued nurture and support must be established to improve the relationships. This task is imperative for the growth and development of the school. Parents and the community should come together and by joining forces to ensure that each child receives the necessary resources, continued support and opportunity they need to be successful in their learning. A strong parent and community relationship make for a great school experience for all that is associated to the school.
In an effort to provide support and opportunities for students, they should be provided opportunities to participate in community service and internships; that will develop the skills. By being provided these opportunities, students will be able to apply these skills not only to the classroom but also their daily lives. The students will participate and be actively involved in the community and the parents will support and encourage these students in doing their best. Community and parent support is a wonderful source of inspiration for students.
The internship and community service projects goal is to recover and advance the community through student, parent and community contribution (Kielsmeier, 2010). The concept is to get the parents and community involved in giving students the support they need when actively involved in their projects within the community and their class assignments. The purpose is to help produce a deeper understanding of classroom learning and a chance for improvement in the community. The classroom abilities and skills attained by students will be converted into improvements within their local community.
There are certain objectives that I will like to meet in the course of the service project. These objectives are:
- To increase parent involvement in the community.
- The majority of community projects involves the child and the parent. This means, in order for the child to participate, the parent must be actively involved; when this happens, the number of parents that participate will increase. It is imperative for school staff and teachers to acquire and maintain a good relationship with parents and school staff. Creating these relationships encourages parents and motivates them in wanting to be involved in school activities. Parents should be assigned positions and tasks to take part in school projects to enhance the success and comfort of the relationship.
- Students will enhance skills through community projects participation
- Involving students in school and community activities will provide them the opportunity to enhance the skills the already possess or obtain new skills (Marshall & Swan, 2010). When students become involved in community projects, they can take the skills and knowledge that they have learned and use it for real life settings. Through this realistic project, student’s skills will expand and be more significant.
- To create successful, effective, confident skillful 21st century students.
- Students acquire needed support when parents and community are involved. The assistance given to the students by the parents, teachers and community encourages students to one to improve and become better. The outcome is great in allowing them to gain the necessary skills while learning and practicing in the field through real life events. Community projects where the community and parents work together can provide finances for students in helping to support projects; posing real world opportunities and practices for a job. Students will be provided the opportunity to obtain skills and become successful learners; while becoming more involved in the community.
To ensure the project’s success, there must be goals set. Goals act as instigators to the people actively involved in the project. For this particular service project, the goals that are included are:
- Increase in student involvement for project participation.
- This project’s ultimate goal is to increase student involvement. Through the development of teacher and parent relationships, school activity participation will increase and the number of student participation. Parents that are involved in school activities will give the necessary support and persuade students to become actively involved in projects. At the end of the service project, it will be visible the amount of student increase by 80%.
- Entice more parent participation in service projects.
- When parents become actively involved in school activities, every aspect relating to the school and community will grow. Increased school family relationships and involvement with parents in school activities will encourage other families in wanting to become involved. At the end of the project, parent involvement will increase by 60%.
- Increase in community clean up.
- Incorporating a tree service project in planting trees around the community will rise. Expanding the number of trees will be great in preventing soil erosion and better air quality. The community will also be enhanced by adding more trees.
- Develop and increase student’s skills through real life experiences.
- By participating in the service projects, students will be able to increase their knowledge and skills they have learned inside the classroom and outside of the classroom (Ferlazzo & Hammond, 2009). Students will be able to enhance those skills they have learned and also acquire new skills. Development of students’ skills will be reviewed by monitoring how the student performs in the specialization. The goal is at least an 80% increased performance.
There are targeted resources that should be applied for a successful service project completion. These resources that are included are those materials needed, the personnel needed for effectiveness and the funding needed for the project. If the project does not gain enough resources in the application process, it will be hard for the students to reach the targeted goals. For an example, a project that require funding may slower the application progress and create a challenge; leaving some goals unfinished.
The qualified personnel that are need for a successful service project are: Treasurer, project manager, environmental scientist, community members, school staff, students and parents. These are the people that will motivate and direct in the service project development. They will assign duties to the group based on their interest and experience in the designated areas. Personnel are imperative for a successful application and completion because of their diverse background and expertise.
There are also materials needed for the success of the project. These materials are: transportation, shovels, rope, trees and manure. These materials are important because they are used when planting trees. Funds are also needed for the purchasing of materials and to achieve the goals for the service project. The sources of these funds will come from parents, donations, contributions and fund raisers. These funds will be collected by the secretary who assign and budget where the money goes.
Roles are assigned based on knowledge and experience in a service project. Students will be assigned different roles than parents and school staff. One role for the students will be to encourage other students to participate in the service project. Students will talk to other students about the importance of being actively involved in the project and how it will help them in the future.
Students will also assist in carrying the materials that will be used for the project. This means that they will carry the shovels and etc. With the help of the project manager, the students will know what they are supposed to do when they are needed. The energy displayed by the student in the community as they participate will help them not only gain skills bur also become active citizens in society (Kielsmeier, 2010). Their participation will show them how they can become actively involved in the community and society.
The parent’s role will be different that the staff and students while participating in the service project. Parents will donate materials needed or provide financial donations. Through these donations, implementation will take place for the project. The resources generated from the parents will guarantee that the project goals will be met.
The parents will also be part of the planning development. Before the start of any project, one must be reminded of the importance of holding an informational meeting with all parties involved; so everyone can come together as a group not only for informational purposes but to also plan and share ideas. This is the time when parents are able to voice their ideas. The more people that are involved, the greater the creative ideas are; which will help the project run easier.
Parents will also be the voice in encouraging other community people in participating and supporting the project. They can help increase the community involvement. The more people that are involved in the community, the more they become informed; which will help them understand the importance of supporting their community school. Community participation will also help in bringing students together to learn obtain many life skills that will be of help to them during school and outside of school.
Lastly, parents will assist the students on the day of the project. These roles will be assigned accordingly by the project manager. These roles may also include helping with utilizing tools, planting and etc.
Community Members / Organizations Role
Community members’ participation is imperative in every organization. Community organizations gives support to projects; such as this. Without the support of the community, it can be very hard to accomplish targeted goal. In this service project, community support is significant since community members have their designated roles to play.
One of the roles for the community and organizations is financial support. When the need is known, many organizations support on another. One of the roles of the organizations and community members within this project is to be that financial support. Community members and organizations will give their donations as a support system for the project. The funds that are received will be used for the sole purpose of the project in ensuring the materials and all items needed are purchased; to ensure that the project runs smoothly and as expected.
The community members and organizations should ensure that the community understands the importance of working as a team towards one shared goal. They will do this by educating people in the community on the importance of team work and helping one another when there is a need. Educating people will not only bring them together as a group but also encourage others to support the cause. Many others will be encourage and understand the benefits of supporting each other for the benefit of the community. If there were no support for the project, the community members and organizations can fail to understand the projected goals (Bryan & Griffin, 2010).
The last way that community members and organizations will have a role is by offering recommendations on what can be completed for the improvement of the project. Through their guidance, management and assessments, community members and organizations will help in directing in areas that need improvement by sharing what they know and see. Through this community participation, the project will proceed in reaching the targeted goal.
Actions Gaining Support
For the project to be successful, it is of most importance to gain the support from the organization and people alike. The support that is need can be financial, resource support or physical. In terms of physical support, there are some in the group that may volunteer to carry out the work; then there may be some who would prefer to support financially by donating money and then there are those that support by way of resources (purchasing needed items) for the project. All of these types of support are of great need and serves its own role and purpose. There is not one greater than the other. You cannot skip and peace and still expect the project to be a success.
One way to get support for the project is by organizing community meetings to educate the local community on the significance of the project. In these meetings the people will gain knowledge on the importance of the project and how it will benefit the community. Leaders will be advised to be at the forefront to unify people in the community to participate, come together and support the project. Through the assistance and aid from community leaders and members, the project will be advertised. Local leaders will notify the government agencies all government agencies of the project to gain their support also.
Another way of gaining support is through student education. Each child should be educated on the task at hand, once the child is educated and understands the importance of the project, they will then be encouraged to share this knowledge with their parents. The parents will be motivated by the students to join in on the project and give their help where needed. Projects in the community are destined to improve the community and people will take an active role through their contributions and support. People know and appreciate the fact that their participating in the project will strengthen and improve their community and perhaps produce more resources for the community.
The last way to gain support for the project is through writing grants and proposals to the government about the project. The requests will address the resources needed, the benefits that the project will bring to the community and the budget. By proposing these proposals, the government officials will have the opportunity to assess the proposal and decide on if this is something they will support. Government officials have the authority to send specialists for help or support financially to increase community involvement. Governments are normally concerned with the success of the community and would support of the benefits that the project will offer and bring the community as a whole.
Events Gaining Support
Events are an actual way of obtaining support, community attendance and participation. These events has a chance of motivating people to join and support the project or discouraging one not to participate. People work better when they feel appreciated and are acknowledged for their work. The project will provide times that will offer recognition of those members who participated and exceeded the expectations in the work that they fulfilled.
Events that will aid in gaining parent participation and community attendance is through community forums. These forums when the organizations, parents and community members will have the chance to offer their opinions and suggestions about the project. These ideas will be used when making decisions. These decisions are important because they determine the direction the project will go in and ensures that the goal is reached. Many people attend community forums; whether it is to hear the thoughts and opinions of others or simply be in the know of upcoming projects. In such forums, active families are able to voice their views about the project; expanding community attendance and participation.
Another hosted event can be an awards ceremony after the completion of a project. This ceremony will bring recognition to all who contributed or participated in the project. The community, parents and students will be motivated to participate and offer their support to receive this recognition award. This will increase community attendance and participation. This will also encourage those parents who may have not participated in this project to partake in the next.
To know if the project is moving in the direction planned, it is vital to have a way of monitoring and assessing the project for targeted success. Without evaluation benchmarks for determining success, it may be hard in knowing if the project is actually progressing.
A way in evaluating the success of the project’s success is the collection of data. Data displays information from prior projects. If the data shows participants increase, then it is a sign that the project is making progress and reaching targeted goals. On the other hand, if the data displays the amount of participants has decreased and made no growth, it is a clear signal that the project is not meeting the target goals.
Another way of measuring progression of the project is monitoring and making notes of how fast or slow the goals are being met. When more goals are being met at a short period of time, it is a clear sign that the project is moving at not only a good pace but also on task in the direction it should go. However, if the goal reached are less than the target amount or no goal has been met after a long time period, it is a sign that the project is not doing well and it is a possibility that it will not succeed without making proper changes.
Lastly, another way for project evaluation is an overview of community approval. After the service project, all participants will receive a survey to complete. The survey will show if the community has made enhancements to the communities natural beauty from the service project. This particular for will indicate if the goas was reached.
Parent and community involvement in a school setting does not just happen. It takes effort from each part of the school staff to create positive relationships with parents and the community; and work to every effort in continued nurture of the relationship to maintain it. Good community and parent relationships establishes a good school experience for all that are associated with the school. By being provided these opportunities, students will be able to not only apply this to classroom learning but also their daily life experiences. Students will continue to succeed within the community as long as the parents and community come together and be actively involved.
Bryan, J.A. & Griffin, D. (2010). A Multidimensional Study of School Family Community Partnership Involvement: School, School Counselor and Training Factors. Professional School Counseling. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Epstein, J.L. (2011). School, family and community partnership: Preparing Educators and Improving Schools. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Ferlazzo, L., & Hammond, L.A. (2009). Building Parent Engagement in Schools. Columbus, Ohio: Linworth Books/Libraries Unlimited.
Kielsmeier, J.C. (2010). Build a Bridge Between Service and Learning. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.com
Marshall, L. & Swan, P. (2010). Parents as Participating Partners. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.com