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LETTER — Parents, stay involved in your kid’s education

Dear Editor,

Nov. 21 was recognized as National Parental Involvement Day. As stated at projectappleseed.org, “This day provides a yearly opportunity for schools and families to honor and highlight the powerful contributions parents and caregivers provide at school and home to support student success. However, parental involvement shouldn’t be confined to just one day — it should be emphasized all year long. Getting involved in your child’s education has been shown to dramatically increase the chances of academic success.”

The research is overwhelming that shows the correlation between parent involvement/engagement and student success. I think Dr. Mark Porterie, Superintendent of Port Arthur ISD, states it best.

After he read an article that shared this research as if it were new, he shared globally with the PAISD staff, “As I was reading the article (he shared the article), I thought to myself, REALLY!!! It is amazing that there are people out there that are just realizing the correlation between parental involvement and student success in schools.” Dr. Porterie is so on point!

For our schools and communities to improve, there is ABSOLUTELY no way we can do this without the sincere and earnest engagement of our parents, partners and community at-large.

How can our children know the way if we do not teach them? How will they reach their fullest potentials if we don’t believe in them and encourage them?

We are reminded on National Parental Involvement Day that learning takes place not only in the classroom, but also at home, in the library, in the museums, in the stores, at the zoo, at church, at the beach, just in nature itself, everywhere!

It truly takes a village!

As I personally prepare myself for my last child, who is my son, to graduate from college, I think of all the people who planted into his growth and development; my immediate family, my in-laws, my deceased parents, the day care center staff, the K-12 staff, our church family, the doctors, the nurses, our friends and relatives, his friends, the university staff, employers and so many others.

As we strive to equip our students to be college/career ready, we must have the support of the parents, families and community.

If our community is to ever improve, we must work together! That is why I couldn’t let this day pass without putting a plug in concerning the research of correlation that our superintendent spoke concerning.

Thank you for all you do to stay engaged and involved in the education of your children or children who are not yours, yet you are committed to making a difference in their lives! Continue to ask teachers and principals what specifically can you do to help your child succeed.  Please keep the fire burning and never let it dim, because our children and community are worth it.

LaWanda Finney, Ed.D., is the coordinator of Title I Parent Engagement Initiative at the Port Arthur Independent School District.