Nixon and Franklin School parents participated in the first of four S.A.I.L. Parent Academies at Nixon School earlier this month.
Franklin and Nixon Elementary Schools in Roxbury Township qualify for Title I funding based on the number of students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. This Title I program, now called S.A.I.L Parent Academy, plans to hold one workshop a marking period.
“They are designed to get the parents as well as children into our schools at night to learn more about what is going on in school and how to support their children at home,” said Kelly Freund, S.A.I.L. program coordinator. “It’s all about bringing our community into our schools.”
The workshop provided free babysitting where children could come play on the computers, do arts and crafts and have fun while their parents learned.
Each parent academy workshop centers on a theme. The first workshop’s theme was on literacy. Parents could come learn tips and tricks to help their children become better readers and more importantly, avid readers.
The first half of the workshop was directed to just the parents with special guest speaker, Meredith Alvaro from Staff Solutions. Alvaro has been working with the district for the past four years consulting K-4 staff in literacy needs. She explained to parents the guided reading levels and how to determine which books are what level and what to do before, during and after reading with a child.
The second half of the evening brought the parents and children together. Both picked out books to read to each other while enjoying cake and cookies. Parents had a chance to try out their new skills when reading to their children.
The purpose of these academies is for parents to want to come to the schools and feel comfortable enough to come in and learn and ask questions so that they can provide the best support at home.
“The night seemed to be a success,” said Freund. “It was great that about 15 families came out and I hope next time we will have even more. Feedback from the students at school the following day was very positive.”
Children and parents present at the academy had a chance to each pick out a book or two to take home with them for free to help jump start the love of reading at home.
The biggest takeaway according to Freund was “it doesn’t matter what your child is reading. Parents can build a love of reading by guiding and supporting their child.”
According to Roxbury Assistant Superintendent, Chuck Seipp, “Mrs. Freund hit the ground running with this program and has worked to eliminate all possible obstacles that limit parents from attending.”
Upcoming Parent Academies for Franklin and Nixon School families include Math Night on Feb. 2 at Franklin School; Positive Parenting on March 28 at Nixon School; and How to Prevent Summer Slide on May 16 at Franklin School.