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MATHSCIENCE%VCUVAX.BITNET@ohstvma.acs.ohio-state.edu writes: > I Have some questions for educators or for parents who are reading this message. > If your child is attending an elementary school or if you are teaching elementar > y grades, please feel free to respond to this. > 1. What can the schools do to improve the relationship with parents? > 2. What can we do to get more parents get involved? > 3. How can elementary students get involved in some community projects? > 4. What kind of workshops can be conducted for parents alone? > 5. What kind of workshops can be conducted for parents and teachers together? > 6. What kind of workshops can be conducted for parents, teachers, and students? > Thank you for responding > Manorama Talaiver > Mathematics & Science center > 2401 Hartman Street > Richmond va 23223 > > MATHSCIENCE@VCUVAX.BITNET December 18, 1992 Dear Ms. Talaiver, I am a student in UVA's 5 year Master's Ed Program and am also the parent of two elementary children. My daughter attends 6th grade in an "upper elementary school" and my son is in 2nd grade. I am glad to respond to your questionaire because your questions are important reflections regarding the reciprocal ties between the family, school and community. 1. Schools can improve the relationship with parents by continuing the flow of newsletters and classwork papers to the home. School functions such dinners/picnics, PTO, the usual field days, Christmas bazaars, etc. are still viable. However, not all parents have the babysitting needed or the transportation needed to attend this functions. These needs should be addressed. The Charlottesville Schools have meetings in the various local communities at least once a school term and the School Board Meetings rotate through the neighborhood schools -- a different one each month. Still, these do not interest all the parents we may really want to communicate with. As always, how do we arouse the interest and get the parent(s) in who we may most want to see. Schools need to generate a feeling of warmth and motherly caring to all family units no matter what their social economic status. Not all adults may feel welcome to the environment, be it educational differences or personality differences. There may be alienation and uncertainty. 2. Parents need to know that they are a needed, necessary and important ingredient to their child's success and ultimately the community's success. Teachers are being expected to handle more and more of the traditional inputs previously generated by parents (manners, morals and general respect for others, guidance and parameters). Parents need to be reeducated in the facts that their child's job is going to school to learn. The expectations and support in the home life should be emphasized. 3. Elementary school children could be involved by assisting in the maintenance of their own school facility and grounds. Visits to local nursing homes would be appreciated by the elders and be a positive model for the students. Afterschool peer tutoring would be a positive reinforcer. Students adopting and working with elderly or needy adults or families by doing simple yard work, housecleaning, bring the mail in and say "hi" on a regular basis perhaps once a week -- something both parties could plan on and look forward to. Establish a viewpoint beyond the students' own immediate needs -- build a "community" caring spirit. How bout garden spaces in unused playground areas during the summer. Perhaps canning and processing offered in the school cafeteria at harvest time. This would imvolve students, family and school personnel. 4. Modeling workshops for parents: Parenting skills - Our most important job in life comes with no instructions. How do we raise a healthy child? Why is it important? Why we should we all care? Family projects and especially how to play and have fun! Modified child psy class to let parents know the stages and characteristics of the "normal child". Children don't aggrevate us intentionally -- it is normal for children to be selfish, they are egocentric through no fault of their own. We take foregranted our adult abilities and perspectives and project them on our young children. This can set us up for battles and disappointments. 5. Workshops for parents and teachers: Basic study skills in the home and how the child will be reinforced between home and school so there is a united effort. Communication between and expectations of each party 6. Workshops for parents, teachers, and students? Communication Playing together and family projects done in the school facilities Reading -- how we use it in all ways, why it is so important, all the multitude and variety of literature (newspapers, consumer packaging such as cereal boxes, ninetendo, etc.). Some new, creative, and fun way to approach a "taken for granted" necessity. An aside, a community newspaper/bulletin could be generated through a joint effort of parents, children and staff. Are our school facilities trully available for use by the taxpayers who support them as meeting places? I hope I haven't been too long winded and eclectic. Sincerely, Holly J. Neavear Charlottesville, VA 22901 hjn2k@Virginia.edu