Local school promotes family involvement

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 1, 2003

In an effort to encourage family involvement at the school and to promote a more positive attitude about math, W.O. Parmer Elementary School held a Family Math Night, Thursday, Jan. 28 at the school.

Each class, kindergarten through second grade, offered many ways of learning math by playing games or using computer programs. Parents were encouraged to join their children in the games to see firsthand what progress the students were making in their studies.

&uot;This is a great way to involve the community in the learning process,&uot; W.O. Parmer Principal Carol Teague said. &uot;We have a family-oriented activity each month at the school, whether it’s a lunch here on campus or a family night, such as tonight, and we’ve found that it is a great way to increase parental involvement.&uot;

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Teague said the benefits are two-fold.

&uot;Not only do the children get to spend time with their parents and show off for them a bit,&uot; she said. &uot;But it’s also a great opportunity for the parents to talk with the teachers and get to know them better. Many times that will increase a parent’s comfort level, and allow greater communication between the parent and the teacher. We look for any way we can foster a good relationship between the community and the school.&uot;

Kindergarten teacher Mary Beth Layfield is pleased with the turnout they have had for the Family Night events.

&uot;The parents really seem to respond well to these programs,&uot; Layfield said. &uot;We are showing them our computer math programs tonight, and it’s very helpful when parents can see for themselves what the child is being taught.&uot;

Layfield said that the computer programs have been a successful program at the school.

&uot;We have two or three computers in each classroom for the students to work on,&uot; she said. &uot;Then we also have our computer lab where the children come for special work sessions on different areas we are covering.&uot;

The computer lab is taught by Learning Specialist Michelle Sellers.

For Marianne Hamilton, whose son Steiner attends Layfields’ kindergarten class, the program is a wonderful way to keep track of her son’s progress.

&uot;Steiner just loves the computer lessons and is doing well with them,&uot; Hamilton said. &uot;I am glad my husband Pete and I have the opportunity to come share his work and touch base with his teachers.&uot;

In the second-grade classrooms, the focus was less on games and more on helping parents be hands-on with their students at home.

Second-grade teachers Lanetta Rudolph, Donna Nelson and Kendra Timmons held a mini-seminar to give parents tips on how to help their second-graders study by using study aids and creating a proper environment that would facilitate learning.

&uot;We are trying to get them ready to move up to the third grade,&uot; Rudolph said. &uot;Although we have other teachers offering games and fun things, we felt that study skills at home was an important topic too, so that’s what we are talking with them about.&uot;