A THEMATIC APPROACH TO PARENT INVOLVEMENT
JOANNA BENDER NONPUBLIC EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, INC.
22ND WORLD CONGRESS ON READING SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA JULY 30, 2008 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
NONPUBLIC EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, INC.
• Provides Title I services to qualifying students in private schools, in Pre-K through 8th grade. • Oldest provider of Title I services to private schools (1979 – present). • Serves over 6,000 Title I students in six states and Washington, D.C. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Virginia; Springfield, Massachusetts; Prince George’s County, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri).
VIRGINIA NESI PROGRAM
• Serves three geographical areas (Northern Virginia, Central Virginia and Tidewater, Virginia. • Tidewater, Virginia is located around the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia. • This area includes the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.
TIDEWATER, VIRGINIA NESI PROGRAM
• • • • • • • • • • • • The Tidewater, Virginia NESI program serves 12 schools and 260 students in grades Pre-K through 5th grade. Calvary Christian School Christ the King Catholic School Holy Trinity Catholic School Ocean Learning Center Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School Parkdale Private School Portsmouth Catholic School St. Gregory the Great Catholic School St Matthews Catholic School St. Pius X Catholic School Star of the Sea Regional Catholic School Warwick River Christian School
The Tidewater NESI program provides small group instruction in both Reading and Math.
• • • • • • • Phonological Awareness Phonics Fluency Vocabulary Comprehension Study Skills Writing Skills
• • • • • • • • • • Numeration Whole Numbers Fractions/Decimals Problem Solving Geometry Measurement Statistics/Probability Patterns Technology Algebra
RESEARCH SUPPORTING PARENT INVOLVEMENT
• Students whose parents are involved in their education do better in school. • Students supported by family usually succeed. Without family support, students often struggle. • Family supported students are more motivated and have better self esteem. • There is a decreased amount of drug and alcohol use among students whose parents are involved in their education. • Students with parental support have better school attendance. • The level of a parent’s education does not affect a child’s reading progress if the parent is highly involved in the child’s education.
IMPACT OF RESEARCH OF PARENT INVOLVEMENT
Conclusions from the research on parent involvement and student success in school and beyond suggest the following: • Parent Involvement activities should be a part of every school’s program. • There is a need for each school to have a planned Parent Involvement program. • Families need to work as partners with the school and the teachers to support their child’s learning.
COMPONENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE PROGRAM
The NESI Tidewater area bases their Parent Involvement program on Keys to Successful Partnerships: Six Types of Involvement, a framework to provide a scaffold for organizing a strong Parent Involvement program. The keys were developed by Joyce Epstein, PHD., director of The Center for the Social Organization of Schools.
TYPE I PARENTING
The purpose of Type 1, Parenting, is to help all families establish home environments to support children as students. NESI does this by: • Providing lending libraries of books and videotapes on parenting of children from birth through teens. • Conducting area workshops one to two times a year. • Conducting individual school workshops.
TYPE 2 COMMUNICATING
• The purpose of Type 2, Communicating, is to design effective forms of communication from the school to home and from home to school. The NESI program meets this goal by: Having an Open House at the beginning of the year to explain the Title I program, discuss curriculum and expectations and to ask for parent’s input. Holding conferences with every parent. Meeting with every parent to develop a Personalized Instruction Plan setting goals for the student. Monthly newsletters. ByPassages, the Virginia NESI Newsletter. Progress Reports every quarter or trimester. Parent contact reporting sheet. Letters, newsletters, and parent tip sheets are translated.
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TYPE 3 VOLUNTEERING
Type 3, Volunteering, involves recruiting and organizing parent help and support. The NESI program lets all families know that they are welcome in the Title I classroom. Parents are invited to: Read with students. Play educational games with students. Make educational games for the students. Participate in March Parent Involvement Month.
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TYPE 4 LEARNING AT HOME
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The purpose of Type 4, Learning at Home, is to provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum related activities. NESI provides the Title I families with: Word lists. Homework pointers. Comprehension strategies. Handouts on specific skills. Lending library books to read together. File folder games on specific skills. Books on tape. WE BOTH READ books. FROG FAMILY FUN PACK GAMES. Summer Learning Activities.
TYPE 5 DECISION MAKING
Type 5, Decision Making, strives to include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives. NESI has a Parent Advisory Council that meets yearly to discuss parent involvement issues. Each school has a representative who attends the council meeting.
TYPE 6 COLLABORATING WITH COMMUNITY
• Epstein’s Type 6, Collaborating With Community strives to identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning and development. NESI does this by: Referring individual students to public school child study teams for further testing. Referring individual students to pediatricians. Referring individual students to child psychologists. Referring individual students to the local university for participation in their special reading program. Referring individual students to educational testing services.
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BENEFITS OF AN ANNUAL PARENT INVOLVEMENT THEME
Each year the Tidewater NESI Title I program has an annual Parent Involvement Theme. The themes spark the interest of the families and motivate them to participate in Title I Parent Involvement activities throughout the year. Themes seem to generate enthusiasm in participating in the Title I activities.
READING IS MAGICAL
The READING IS MAGICAL theme centered around reading and following directions, sequencing, steps in a process and listening skills. A Reading is Magical, Title I Bypass DAC Meeting was held on April 28, 2005. Families were invited to dinner and a magic show. After the magic show the families explored reading stations designed to practice reading and following directions skills based around The Magic of Words, The Magic of String, The Magic of Math and The Magic of Paper. Schedule: Pizza Dinner: 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM Magic Show: 6:30 PM – 7:15 PM Reading-Is-Magical Stations: 7:15 – 8:00 PM
SCORE A GOAL: PUT READING FIRST
The purpose of Score A Goal: Put Reading First was to introduce families to Put Reading First using a soccer theme. On November 30, 2005, a Title I Bypass Workshop was held. Families were invited to a pizza dinner followed by a local storyteller sharing soccer themed stories. Afterwards, our families were invited to explore Reading First stations that included Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension. These stations were make and take stations providing the families with strategy tip sheets and activities to do at home in each of the Reading First areas.
SCORE A GOAL – PUT READING FIRST TITLE I BYPASS DAC MEETING
On May 10, 2006, the Tidewater NESI Title I Bypass program held a DAC meeting to celebrate the progress the students had made during the school year. Families were invited to a chicken dinner. After dinner, members of the Hampton Roads Mariners, a professional soccer team, talked to the families about the importance of reading and read their favorite childhood books to the children. Following the read-aloud the children were invited to go outside to the soccer field and kick the soccer ball around with the professional soccer players. Parents were provided with resources about summer reading activities.
READ AND TOUCH THE PAST HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VIRGINIA!
The theme for the 2006 – 2007 school year was Read and Touch the Past. This theme celebrated the 400th anniversary of Jamestown’s birth with non-fiction reading strategies. A Parent Workshop was held on November 30, 2006. After enjoying a pizza dinner, Tonia Deetz Rock, Educational Coordinator for Historic Jamestowne, gave a PowerPoint presentation about Jamestown. Afterwards families traveled to break-out stations exploring nonfiction reading strategies and activities. Ms. Deetz had a station where the families sorted vocabulary words to describe replica artifacts.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VIRGINIA! TITLE I BYPASS DAC MEETING
On May 10, 2007, the Tidewater NESI Title I families concluded their Read and Touch the Past theme with a birthday party to celebrate the 400 years since Jamestown’s birth. The evening began with a pizza dinner and birthday cake. Following dinner, the families were invited to celebrate Virginia’s history by visiting historical stations. The stations included: The Lady Thunder Drum Circle Bill Gillenwaters from the Nansemond Tribe displaying Native American tools. Jim Rhyme, “Feather”, discussing life as a mountain man in Virginia. Liz Vonasek, Colonial woman, teaching about the role of a woman in the revolutionary period. Cathryn Janka demonstrating the art of spinning and weaving. Chief Red Hawk of the Cheroenhaka Nottaway Tribe explaining the history of his tribe.
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FAMILIES THAT READ TOGETHER SUCCEED TOGETHER
Families That Read Together Succeed Together was the theme of the 2007 – 2008 school year. It focused on using Paired-Reading at home to help children become better readers. On November 29, 2007 a Title I Bypass Workshop was held. The families were invited to a pizza dinner. After dinner the workshop began with a warm up activity of choral reading using selections from You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You by Mary Ann Hoberman. The families watched a training video showing how to use the paired-reading technique and then selected books to practice together. After the practice session, the families participated in a cool down activity of another choral reading selection. Each family went home with paired reading handouts and a door prize of a book to read together.
FAMILIES THAT READ TOGETHER SUCCEED TOGETHER CATCH THE READING BUG!
The 2007 – 2008 theme of Families That Read Together Succeed Together concluded with an end of the year meeting on May 22, 2008. After enjoying a pizza dinner, families enjoyed a story time presentation by a local librarian. The librarian also introduced the area’s summer reading theme, Catch The Reading Bug, telling the families about summer reading activities at the area libraries. Families were reminded to continue to use the Paired-Reading technique over the summer and were invited to select a book from the Book Swap. Tables of books organized by reading levels for both children and adults were set up for individuals to select books to take home to read over the summer. Handouts about summer learning activities were also available to take home.
PLANNING YOUR OWN THEMATIC PARENT INVOLVEMENT PROGRAM
CHOOSE A THEME Pick a theme that will capture the interest of your families and that will at the same time address useful reading skills and strategies that families can use when reading together at home. Examples of themes might be: sports, hobbies, science, history, specific authors, etc. You may want to survey the families to see what their interests may be and to see if they are interested in learning about a specific reading skill.
PLAN THEME RELATED ACTIVITIES FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR
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Use your theme to help you plan activities such as: Theme introduction kick off meeting Reading skill workshops Reading contests Guest speakers Field trips End of the year celebration meeting
PLAN A KICK OFF WORKSHOP MEETING
• • Have a meeting a the beginning of the year to introduce your theme and the reading skills that will be addressed during the year. Plan a dinner menu. Sometimes local businesses will donate food and drinks for your meeting. Invite a guest speaker related to your theme to start off your meeting. Guest speakers could be: librarians, storytellers, historical actors, magicians, authors, community workers, artists, or scientists. Put together reading stations for the families to actively explore after the guest speaker gives his/her presentation. Stations could include make it and take it games and activities, reading skill practice stations, book displays and writing stations. Gather items for a parent resource table. These items can be handouts about reading strategies, word lists, reading lists, pamphlets about reading and study skills, pamphlets about educational activities, brochures about places to visit around your area, information about the local library and story times and library card applications. Purchase incentives such as door prizes, books and prizes for grab bags.
PLAN A THEME RELATED END OF THE YEAR CELEBRATION
The students have worked hard all year improving their reading skills. It is time to plan an end of the year celebration centered around the Parent Involvement theme. The celebration should be fun and include ideas for families to use over the summer as they continue to read together.
SAMPLE END OF THE YEAR CELEBRATION
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Find a fun way to use your theme to celebrate a year of learning to read. Your celebration could include: Dinner A guest speaker or entertainment. A parent resource table filled with things for parents to take home with ideas about summer learning activities. A book swap for summer reading for both students and adults.
Darling, S. & Westberg, L. (2004). Parent involvement in children’s acquisition of reading. The Reading Teacher, 57, 774-776.
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JoAnna Bender Parent Involvement Coordinator NonPublic Educational Services, Inc. 4905 Farrington Dr. Virginia Beach, VA 23455 email@example.com