Installing a laundromat in a school. Hosting theme parties for parents and students with educational components. Sending teachers and staff into the community to knock on doors and tell families what’s going on at their children’s school.
These are some of the ideas for involving parents in education highlighted in a report released today by First Lady Crissy Haslam’s office summarizing her work with 10 elementary and intermediate schools around the state during the 2011-12 school year.
“Parents and guardians are a child’s first and most important teacher, and their role in ensuring that children are beginning kindergarten with the foundational skills they need to be successful is crucial for the future of education and economic development in Tennessee,” the report, Parental Engagement in Tennessee, says.
The report links education to the economy and jobs efforts, emphasizes 3rd grade reading proficiency as a key marker of later success and lays out the ways Haslam’s office is trying to promote reading, volunteering in the schools, and mentoring of young parents. It also holds up as examples efforts like the bus tour put on by Dyersburg City Schools. Teachers and staff tour the community, talking with parents at churches, community centers and a neighborhood pool.