"Takes a village to raise a child"
By Cyndi Flores
Schools, Families, and Communities--"The Works"
Teachers are greatly encouraged to work with families and the community to help students with their learning process. While some schools experience a large amount of family and community involvement, others schools experience very little participation. Mainly parent participation is low for reasons such as: lack of babysitters, lack of transportation, and work schedules that do not allow the time to meet with teachers or take part in other school activities. Nonetheless, educators still believe that parental support is a major contributor to successful student learning. In spite of the lack of parental participation, parents regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, belief there is great importance in the education of their children.
Constant communication with families is a great way for schools to keep parents informed of ways they can contribute to their child's education and to the community. One thing to remember about communicating with parents is that socioeconomic differences among families can have an influence in their interactions with educators as well as the community. Low-income families are the ones that have less possibility to participate in activities within the school and outside the school environment. It is also very important to have a community who cares about and is actively involved in education. Community partners work with schools to provide time, money, people, and expertise. Within the school environment, teachers can incorporate the community in their classrooms by having parents, grandparents, firefighters, and police officers come to talk to students about their work and contributions to the community. In addition field trips and school projects are another great way for students and families to know the community.
This type of relationship is important because it takes place in the classroom where children learn and gain knowledge. What the students learn in the classrooms, will not only allow them to move up in grade levels of education but also be able to function and succeed in society. An important aspect of the school system is being able to keep constant communication with the student's families. When communication is established, the teacher can then present parents with various ways they can work in partnership as well as inform them of available resources found in their community.
A factor that greatly influences a student's learning is the amount of parental support the student receives. It is known that the students with the most parental involvement have greater success in their education. For various reasons such as lack of time, some parents are not able to provide their full attention which can have negative effects on the child. However, parents that are active in their child's educational success, engage in such things as PTA, school activities, parent-teacher conferences, and assist with child's homework.
A good relationship between schools and the community can have positive effects on academic achievement and the development of young people. Schools and communities that work together can provide such things as: support for student learning, easier access to community resources, trust, workplace educational programs, and many opportunities for community service. When everyone is involved, the children have greater opportunities to succeed in school as well as become responsible citizens in their communities. While the community contributes by providing resources and expertise to schools, the schools should help families know more about the available resources in their community.
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