Cheri M. Gioe, Merrill, Thomas A. | 5/30/2006 10:22:30 PM
Parental involvement is a key to children’s success in school, and LSU AgCenter child-care associate Cheri Gioe says there are a variety of ways you can become involved.
"Parent involvement is the term used frequently to describe different forms of parental participation in education and with schools," Gioe says. "Parents can support their children's schooling by attending school functions and responding to school obligations.
"They also can become more involved in helping their children by providing encouragement; arranging for appropriate materials, supplies, study time and space; modeling desired behaviors, such as reading for pleasure; monitoring development; and actively working with their children at home."
The LSU AgCenter expert says parents also can serve as advocates for a program or school. They can volunteer to help out with activities or work in the classroom. Or they can take an active role in the governance and decision-making necessary for planning, developing and providing an education for the community's children.
"For anyone who asks why parental involvement is important, the answer becomes pretty clear," Gioe says, explaining, "Research tells us that when programs or schools and families work together to support learning, children succeed not only in school but throughout life."
Experts say the most accurate predictors of a child’s academic achievement are the extents to which a child’s family is able to create a home environment that encourages learning, to express high, realistic expectations for their child’s achievement and to become involved in their child’s education at school and in the community.
"When parents are involved in children’s education, children benefit with higher achievement, better attendance, more positive attitudes and behavior, higher graduation rates and greater enrollment in post-secondary education," Gioe says.
The LSU AgCenter’s "Be Child Care Aware!" educational program is designed to educate parents and child-care providers about quality child care. It is funded, in part, through a contract with the Louisiana Department of Social Services’ Office of Family Support.