The Importance of Parent Involvement
The importance of parent involvement in a child's school success cannot be overemphasized. A growing body of research provides evidence that a parent's involvement in his/her child's education affects the child's academic achievement 1. Other research findings support a direct relationship between parent involvement and children's reading improvement 2. Furthermore, parent involvement requirements in federal laws such as No Child Left Behind require schools receiving federal funds to strengthen their educational partnerships with parents. Additionally, Florida's legislation on family-school partnership (1002.23 F.S.) requires school districts to provide information to parents that will help parents be more involved with their children's education.
Charlotte County Title 1 schools seek to strengthen their partnership with parents through various opportunities for parent involvement. These include such activities as participating in the Family Reading Experience at the Family Resource Centers, attending family science or math nights, providing input as members of school planning teams or School Advisory Committees, or developing school parent involvement plans.
Family Resource Center
One of the opportunities for parents to function as partners with the school in their child's literacy development is through participation in the Family Reading Experience (FRE). The Family Reading Experience centers on a twice weekly book checkout activity at Title I family resource centers. A parent involvement paraprofessional operates each center. The atmosphere in the parent center is designed to be parent-friendly and encourage parent-staff and parent-child conversations. Each center is stocked with a wide variety of leveled and chapter books, including books in Spanish at schools serving Hispanic families.
Parents check out books for and with their children, depending on the child's age and learning level. Staff members give parents guidance for reading with their children, including how to help the child use reading strategies. The FRE staff also assists parents in choosing the appropriate book level for their child. As part of the experience, each child selects a "keeper" book that he or she can take home to help build a family home library.
The program has been recognized for helping parents work with their children, having received the Teacher-Parent Engagement Through Partnership award from the MetLife Foundation.
District Parent Involvment Policy
Each school year Charlotte County is required to develop a Parent Involvement Policy that guides parental involvement activities conducted in the school district.
- Charlotte County District's Parental Involvement Policy (2111)
- Parent Involvement Policy for Title I (2261.01)
Each Title I school has a school Parent Involvement Plan. Visit your School Webpage to view your Title 1 school's plan for activities designed to increase parental involvement.
1 Henderson, A. & Mapp, K. (2002). A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. Austin, TX: National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools.
2 Lin, Q. (2003). Research Digest: Parent Involvement and Early Literacy.