Sunday, October 31, 2010

Family Engagement & Involvement

Studies document that, regardless of the economic, ethnic, or cultural background, an adult engaged in a child's education is a major factor in determining a child's success in school. Family involvement also contributes to other positive outcomes, such as better school attendance, improved homework completion rates, decreased violence and substance abuse, and higher graduation rates.

Family engagement programs that are well structured result in consistent family participation, rather than attendance at a onetime event, such as a parent-teacher conference or an annual back-to-school night. Families must be engaged in substantive tasks, such as school restructuring and setting higher learning standards.

Barriers to family involvement, such as no time off from work allowed, scheduling conflicts, lack of transportation, lack of child care, and language and cultural differences, must be removed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Army of Advocates

Even before the financial crisis of 2008, many of our children were attending inadequately funded and over-crowded schools.  These days, local budgets are stressed like never before and city and town leaders are faced with impossible choices for public education, public health, and public safety.  

Silent Auctions, Spring Fairs, and the like are great community-building events that also raise money to shore up some budget shortfalls, but they can only go so far.  Raising funds to cover operational and capital expenses (like teacher salaries, essential technologies, new school buildings, and important curricular offerings), requires decisions that are made at the state and federal level of government.  To effect the change at that level requires an army of advocates.

PTA has been training advocates longer than anyone - over 100 years!  They have the tools necessary to amplify our voice at the local, state, and federal level.  There are many opportunities to increase your advocacy skills, including: 
  • State PTA-sponsored workshops and conferences offered at various times throughout the year;
  • E-learning online at;
  • DVDs to take you through the steps of identifying a problem and putting together a plan;
  • Scheduled conference calls and webinars, based on your interest areas
    Join the PTA movement.  Get connected to opportunities to advocate for what you are most passionate about.  Whether it's public education funding, healthy food choices in school cafeterias, increased arts education programming, or something else altogether, PTA offers many options to become a better advocate for your child and for all children.  Download Statewide Cranberry PTA Membership Form.