Parenting day at all schools Monday

Published 11:35 am Monday, October 20, 2003

By By Suzanne Digmon Staff writer
Monday Escambia County Schools will join schools across the state by inviting parents to join with teachers to strengthen the home-school connection. Rachel Patterson Elementary, A. C. Moore Elementary, Escambia County Middle School, Escambia County High School, Huxford Elementary School, Poarch Even Start and Turtle Point Environmental Science Center will participate in activities. Parents are invited to use this event to visit their child's school and become more aware of Alabama's challenging educational standards and innovative programs taking place in the schools.
With research that shows students achieve more when parents or guardians are involved, the Escambia County School system will participate in the Alabama Department of Education's statewide parent visitation month. This year's theme for the event is Invest in Your Child's Future.
"While the day is referred to as Parenting Day, we hope to pull together anyone responsible for raising school-age children in Escambia County's public schools," said Magaline Marshall, parent involvement coordinator for the county school system. "We are hoping this day will provide an opportunity for parents and the community to come together to celebrate education, learning and the power of families. It's also a chance to strengthen communication between home and school, promote parenting skills and include parents in the learning process. Parent involvement- now more than ever- is a key factor to students success in school year-round."
October has been set aside for special activities aimed at getting parents and others to invest in their children's education and learn more about what goes on in their children's lives while they are at school.
A.C. Moore Elementary will offer workshops for parents on "How to Help Your Child Succeed", "How to Help Improve Your Child's Behavior", "Instilling the desire for success in your child", "ADD/ADHD", and "School Safety Issues".
"We'll have a movie matinee, Fudge-A-Mania, that's our main attraction," Florastine Howard, supervisor, said. "We'll have popcorn, cola and lots of door prizes."
The movie, Fudge-A-Mania, is based on the book by Judy Blume. Parents may have a conference with their child's teacher in the afternoon following the movie.
Parents will be able to shop with their children at the Book Fair at Rachel Patterson Elementary. The computer lab will be open for parents to help students to take the Accelerated Reader book tests. Principal Beth Drew said, "We especially want parents to come with their children to see the storyteller coming out of Mobile. Last year we had over 300 parents, so we expect a big crowd." Throughout the day, parents may find out about parenting skills for early childhood, ADHD, and basic information about special education. Parent Teacher Conferences will conclude the day.
Escambia County Middle School will have counselors available to discuss SAT-10 test scores. Because they are in their fourth year as a Title I school in need of improvement, eligible students at this school will be given the option of receiving supplemental services. Several of the agencies selected by the Alabama State Department of Education will be at the school Monday, including Armstrong Engineering Consulting, P.C., Babbage Net School, Failure Free Reading, Lightspan and The Princeton Review K-12 Services. These agencies will be on hand to provide information and materials to parents.
Turtle Point Environmental Science Center is holding an open house to celebrate Parenting Day with family and friends. There is much to see at Turtle Point. For example, parents and children may enjoy a stroll through the facility's five teaching gardens, explore the plants and wildlife along the boardwalk, or observe Alabama's state fossil, Basilosaurus ceroides, on display only at Turtle Point.
Parents may meet with their child's teachers and take a tour of the campus at Escambia County High School. Various information stations will be available for parents on several topics, including NJROTC, Upward Bound, graduation exam, scholarships, graduation requirements, and driver's education assimilators. Parents may also view college videos and art displays Monday.
Huxford Elementary will have an ADHD workshop Monday morning after refreshments. Parents may then choose from a great variety of workshops to attend, including "Communicating With Your Child", "Self Esteem", "Taking Charge: Discipline Without Tears", and "Your Child's First Year in School". There will be a school safety plan update as well.
Poarch Even Start "Fantastic Fours" is having an orientation for the Parenting Education Program, which is created to give parents a little extra help.
"The parents come in and attend parenting education classes…we touch on anger management, getting a GED, financial problems, [and] literacy", Kimberly Adams, director of the program, said. Kay Watson, Poarch Creek Health Educator, will hold a workshop on CPR that afternoon. Parents may attend conferences with their child's teacher in the morning or afternoon.
Business leaders are encouraged to allow their employees time off to participate in their child's Parent Visitation Day activities. Members of the community may also attend. To learn more about Parent Visitation Day and parent involvement opportunities throughout the school year, contact your local school or Marshall at 368-0305.

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