Welcome to WAES!

Small Changes that Make a BIG Difference

Research says:

"When families feel welcome in schools and participate actively in children's education, children's attendance, interest, motivation, general achievement, and reading achievement improve" (Padak & Rasinski, 2003).

Invite Them and They will Come!

Families must feel welcomed, valued, and connected to the school and what their children are doing in school in order to become active participants.

Engage Students and Families with Poetry

Allow students to choose a favorite poem to memorize and act out. Ask parents to practice with students at home. Invite parents to come to school on poetry reading day to support their student!

5 Simple Things to Encourage Parent Involvement

  • Provide "fact cards" for parents with the school's name, address, and phone number, as well as names and contact information for the principal, school secretary, school nurse, and PTO president.
  • Post a dry-erase board and markers, or bulletin board with butcher paper and sticky notes, outside the classroom or at the school entrance. Invite parents and other visitors to write comments about such topics as "my favorite book when I was in elementary school" or "our family's holiday traditions".
  • Set up a parent area in the school. Stock it with brochures and parent resources, including at-home education-related games that can be checked out or kept. Offer coffee, tea, and water. Encourage teachers to drop by the parent area when they have free time.
  • Create a "Parent Corner" on the school/teacher website that provides tips and ideas for parents to help their children in reading, recommendations of new books that children and parents might like to read together, seasonal poetry and songs for reading as a family, and so forth.
  • Make a sheet of contact information for cultural and recreational resources within the school's neighborhood and broader community. Send the sheet home with students and post it online.


Kindervater, T. (2010). Models of parent involvement. The Reading Teacher, 63 (7), 610-612. doi: 10.1598/RT.63.10

Padak, N. & Rasinski, T. V. (2010). Welcoming schools: small changes that can make a big difference. The Reading Teacher, 64(4), 294-297, doi: 10.1 1598/RT.64.4.12