October 6, 2016
For many children, the greatest support comes from parents who are engaged and positive about their education. United Way works in partnership with many community programs to encourage parent involvement in education.
Parents can inspire their children in many ways, from simply talking to them about what they learned at school and helping with homework, to encouraging them to delve beyond their assignments. Reading can develop a child's imagination, introduce new vocabulary, pose challenging questions, and give entirely new worlds to explore. Before the third grade, children normally learn to read. After the third grade, they are reading to learn. Parents have an important role during this time, as they communicate the importance of reading and education, whether it take place within an institution or independently.
Supporting learning habits throughout a child's education is even more effective when parents communicate with teachers. United Way has many initiatives to connect families with teachers and provide academic and social resources for a child's success.
Parents can provide a crucial connection between a child and his school. In larger cities, the feeling of community between school and home is sometimes lost. If the school functions as an entirely separate entity, with no sense of community or obligation to family, children risk feeling alienated and lacking support. To provide for a community's needs, schools implement parent councils, where parents can influence key decisions concerning policies and curricula. Parent involvement in education through school councils plays a pivotal role in the direction of school activity and the bettering of overall education.
Beyond a school's environment and activities, there are some practical things parents can do at home. Setting aside a quiet study space and encouraging healthy activity can greatly impact a child's educational development. Removing and minimizing stressors, both physical and emotional, is necessary for a child to develop positive habits, skills, and mentalities. Scholastic campaigns with United Way often highlight the importance of parent involvement in education. Parents can give children incredible inspiration, motivation, and strength, but this only happens if they take the initiative to get involved.