The Child Development Project (1994) suggests the following ways
that schools can increase parent involvement:
- "Conduct an initial needs assessment through surveys,
interviews, orientation and brainstorming meetings, phone calls,
social gatherings, or other forums--and ask parents what they
would like to see happen at the school.
- Send home several different and inviting announcements,
letters, and brief reminders about each event.
- Translate print materials for families with limited English
- Initiate a personal outreach plan. Ask parents to volunteer
to call other parents and extend a personal invitation to an
upcoming event, or ask each family to call another family and
bring them to an upcoming event.
- Establish a parents' room or lounge that is the hub of
information for parents. Encourage parent volunteers to create a
welcoming environment, provide coffee, and establish a schedule
of informal gatherings.
- Prepare a family newsletter that goes home with students
- Involve parent volunteers in all initial planning for activities
and events; ask for their input, suggestions, and assistance.
- Provide on-site translation for parents with limited English
- Provide child care for parents with younger children.
- Provide food or snacks as part of activities for families.
- Invite individual parents to play specific roles and become
actively involved in planning and organizing activities at the
- Make sure that you do not impose anything on parents.
- Offer information, workshops, and support for parents to help
them learn more about what goes on in school and how they can
reinforce what is being learned at school, both academically and
- Consider the makeup of your parent population and create a
wide variety of culturally appropriate opportunities for parents
to become involved.
- Use teacher conferences as conversations with parents, not
- Offer parents many ways to experience what it's like to be in
a caring community of learners." (p. 134)
Date posted: 1996
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