“Education begins at home.”
That’s how David Patterson, marketing and communications director for Stand for Children Indiana, described the reason parent involvement is so vital to student success.
“When parents are involved in their child’s education, it makes everyone more accountable to perform well to ensure success for that student,” said Patterson. “It allows administrators to develop better policies, helps teachers provide more effective lesson plans and stresses higher expectations from students academically.”
Stand for Children Indiana strives to empower parents, teachers and community members to demand excellence in schools. One of their initiatives, Stand University for Parents (Stand UP), teaches parents and guardians ways to better support the academic success of youth and helps them build effective partnerships with schools. Since 2014, more than 350 Indianapolis parents have graduated from this program.
Crystal Feliciano is the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) president for Lawrence Township Public Schools. She says that parents can begin getting engaged in their children’s schools by attending back-to-school nights and parent/teacher conferences, joining the PTO or helping at school events. She also encourages parents to monitor their children’s grades, join community organizations and participate in “tutoring programs, college tours [and] specialty workshops that will help expose the children to different and exciting opportunities, as well as help them academically.”
“The reason why parental involvement in their child’s school is important is because the children, as well as the educators, can use the support,” said Feliciano. “When parents are not involved with their child’s educational journey, they run the risk of the child not getting his or her maximum benefit from the school system. The guidance counselors and teachers cannot do it alone, nor should they have to.”