Who reports the family-focused news within your school community?
Do you have “Parent Reporters“? How many reporters do you have? This is an excellent way to gather information about the communities you serve, and also find out exactly what the concerns, problems and events are happening in the school community, including school sponsored activities.
Every school needs a parent reporter to give the insight needed to make those vital connections, and it allows them to tell their own stories, too. Listening to or reading about the stories of a community, culture, and your families is a great way to support the location that you serve. It connects you with the community, and indicates to families and the students that the school is concerned about them and their lives outside of the classroom.
Solicit the volunteerism of a parent[s] to provide the school with community news, and encourage a link to learning, too. We know that every environment for a child is a learning environment. So, let’s see what is happening, what they celebrate, what they complain about, and how the neighbors support their ‘villages’. It will help alter educator, families, and students’ perceptions, challenge implicit bias, and eliminate any disconnectedness, thus allowing no more excuses for feeling like an outsider.
Eliminate the “us vs. them” and become an “us AND them”, “us WITH them” school community!
People want to be recognized, and feel valued. They want you to know what makes them tick, and they need you to acknowledge their strengths, too. The students want you to know what they excel at when they aren’t in school. They want the school community to celebrate with them, mourn with them, fight with them and advocate for them by supporting their efforts to support their own children’s comprehensive development. The school can’t be everywhere in the community, and this gives a peek into those areas previously unknown.
Celebrate the strengths and gifts of families and their children, your students- make it a family affair and be parts of the solution, not the problems. Gone should be that deficit model, and today we must seek to identify strengths.
Document their unique stories with Parent Reporters and student Editorial staff. Please give families a page, and not just a single column, and why not publish in the traditional format: on paper-print! Smartphone not needed!
Don’t emphasize grammar, spelling, and the like. That’s your job. The point is we want to encourage news from the people we need to learn about- families and our students and their anytime learning environments.
How does that grab you for family and community engagement?