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Parent Engagement Goes Mobile

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In 2011, Denton ISD partnered with the local United Way organization and Ready Rosie to form an Early Childhood Coalition. The goal was to reach all parents and community members with tools that would …

In 2011, Denton ISD partnered with the local United Way organization and Ready Rosie to form an Early Childhood Coalition. The goal was to reach all parents and community members with tools that would get all 0-6 year olds ready for success in school. We reached all 10,000 families with MOBILE video content that went straight to their mobile devices. This session will share the data and success of
that coalition plus resources that can work in any community.

Published in: Education, Self Improvement

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  • 1. Page 1 of 22 Parent Engagement Goes Mobile by Chris Shade and Emily Roden 2013 Statewide Parental Involvement Conference, December 6, 2013
  • 2. Page 2 of 22 Regardless of race, sex, creed, and culture, as humans we’ve either had or been a parent. Remarkably, despite the fact that over 107 billion people have been born, we all do it differently. Regardless of race, sex, creed, and culture, as humans we’ve either had or been a parent. Remarkably, despite the fact that over 107 billion people have been born, we all do it differently. From Tiger moms…
  • 3. Page 3 of 22 to Tiger dads… to overprotective parents… to helicopter parents.
  • 4. Page 4 of 22 In our culture, we face a relentless media assault telling us we aren’t enough. Buy this laundry soap and your kids will look perfect. Put your child into this program or he will be left behind. In our culture, we face a relentless media assault telling us we aren’t enough. Buy this laundry soap and your kids will look perfect. Put your child into this program or he will be left behind. In our culture, we face a relentless media assault telling us we aren’t enough. Buy this laundry soap and your kids will look perfect. Put your child into this program or he will be left behind.
  • 5. Page 5 of 22 “We live in a culture of scarcity in a “never ___ enough” world. Never good enough Never perfect enough Never successful enough Never smart enough Never safe enough Never extraordinary enough Scarcity thrives in a culture where everyone is hyperaware of lack.” But as author Brené Brown continues in her book, Daring Greatly, “Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.” Brown does not claim to be a parenting expert; in fact, she doubts there are any. But she offers wisdom in encouraging parents to “parent from a place of “enough” rather than scarcity.”
  • 6. Page 6 of 22 Simply stated, “You.are.enough.” Begin at 4m 40s at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4SICJrxfSI (from The Social Animal by David Brooks) In the past decade, and especially in the past few years, a disparate congregation of economist, educators, psychologists, and neuroscientists have begun to produce evidence that calls into question many of the assumptions behind the cognitive hypothesis (the belief that success today depends primarily on cognitive skills – the kind of intelligence that gets measure on IQ tests, including the abilities to recognize letters and words, to calculate, to detect patterns – and the best way to develop these skills is to practice them as much as possible, beginning as early as possible). What matters most in a child’s development, they say, is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit, and self-confidence. Economists refer to these as noncognitive skills, psychologists call them personality traits, and the rest of us think of them as character. xv HCS
  • 7. Page 7 of 22 Until recently, though, there has never been a serious attempt to use the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of childhood, to trace, through experiment and analysis, how the experiences of our early years connect to outcomes in adulthood. That is changing, with the efforts of this new generation of researchers. The premise behind the work is simple, if radical: We haven’t managed to solve these problems because we’ve been looking for solutions in the wrong places. If we want to improve the odds for children in general, and for poor children in particular, we need to approach childhood anew, to start over with some fundamental questions about how parents affect their children; how human skills develop; how character is formed. xxiv HCS Much of the new information about childhood and poverty uncovered by psychologists and neuroscientist can be daunting to anyone trying to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children. We now know that early stress and adversity can literally get under a child’s skin, where it can cause damage that lasts a lifetime. But there is also some positive news in this research. It turns out that there is a particularly effective antidote to the ill effects of early stress, and it comes not from pharmaceutical companies or early-childhood educators but from parents. Parents and other caregivers who are able to form close, nurturing relationships with their children can foster resilience in them that protects them from many of the worst effects of a harsh early environment. This message can sound a both warm and fuzzy, but it is rooted in cold, hard science. The effect of good parenting is not just emotional or psychological, the neuroscientists say; it is biochemical. 27-28 HCS Much of the new information about childhood and poverty uncovered by psychologists and neuroscientist can be daunting to anyone trying to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children. We now know that early stress and adversity can literally get under a child’s skin, where it can cause damage that lasts a lifetime. But there is also some positive news in this research. It turns out that there is a particularly effective antidote to the ill effects of early stress, and it comes not from pharmaceutical companies or early-childhood educators but from parents. Parents and other caregivers who are able to form close, nurturing relationships with their children can foster resilience in them that protects them from many of the worst effects of a harsh early environment. This message can sound a both warm and fuzzy, but it is rooted in cold, hard science. The effect of good parenting is not just emotional or psychological, the neuroscientists say; it is biochemical. 27-28 HCS
  • 8. Page 8 of 22 Much of the new information about childhood and poverty uncovered by psychologists and neuroscientist can be daunting to anyone trying to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children. We now know that early stress and adversity can literally get under a child’s skin, where it can cause damage that lasts a lifetime. But there is also some positive news in this research. It turns out that there is a particularly effective antidote to the ill effects of early stress, and it comes not from pharmaceutical companies or early-childhood educators but from parents. Parents and other caregivers who are able to form close, nurturing relationships with their children can foster resilience in them that protects them from many of the worst effects of a harsh early environment. This message can sound a both warm and fuzzy, but it is rooted in cold, hard science. The effect of good parenting is not just emotional or psychological, the neuroscientists say; it is biochemical. 27-28 HCS Hope changes brain chemistry. 112 Hope is positive expectancy. It increases mood and persistence, which increases results. Even if you do everything else right, if the student doesn’t think you believe in him/her, you’ll lose ground. (51 in handout) Provide hope and support. Any student who feels “less-than” cognitively is likely not only to struggle academically, but also to be susceptible to such secondary issues as acting out, getting bullied or becoming a bully, having lower self-esteem, or having feelings of depression or helplessness. Ensure that teachers build supportive relationships, provide positive guidance, foster hope and optimism, and take time for affirmation and celebration. 41 One possible and dire consequence of unrelenting hopelessness is learned helplessness, which is not a genetic phenomenon but an adaptive response to life conditions. Because of these persistent feelings of inadequacy, individuals will remain passive even when they actually have the power to change their circumstances. Hope and learned optimism are crucial factors in turning low-SES students into high achievers. 113 Research suggests that hopefulness can be taught…an engaged life—the value of participation, not passivity; and a meaningful life—how to focus on the things that matter most and get outside yourself with service work and volunteering. Other strategies that build hope include: • Using daily affirmations • Asking to hear students’ hopes and offering reinforcement of those hopes • Telling students specifically why they can succeed
  • 9. Page 9 of 22 • Providing needed academic resources (e.g. paper and pencils, computer time) • Helping students to set goals and build goal-getting skills • Telling true stories of hope about people to whom students can relate • Offering help, encouragement, and caring as often as needed • Teaching students life skills in small daily chunks • Avoiding complaining about students’ deficits (if they don’t have it, teach it) • Treating all the kids in your class as potentially gifted • Building academic, emotional, and social assets in students. TWPM 116 Gary Evans, [a] Cornell scientist, found the higher the environmental – risk score, the higher the allostatic- load score—unless a child’s mother was particularly responsive to her child. If that was the case, the effect of all of those environmental stressors, from overcrowding to poverty to family turmoil, was almost entirely eliminated. If your mom was particularly sensitive to your emotional state during a game of Jenga, in other words, all the bad stuff you faced in life had little to no effect on your allostatic load. (Note: Environmental risks include family turmoil and chaos and crowding, etc. These have a big effect on children’s cortisol levels. Allostatic load is the gradual process of the body’s stress- management systems breaking down under strain [of stress].) When we consider the impact of parenting on children, we tend to think that the dramatic effects are going to appear at one end or the other of the parenting-quality spectrum. A child who is physically abused is going to fare far worse, we assume, than a child who is simply ignored or discouraged. And the child of a supermom who gets lots of extra tutoring and one-on-one support is going to do way better than an average well-loved child. But what Blair’s and Evan’s research suggests is that regular good parenting – being helpful and attentive during a game of Jenga – can make a profound difference for a child’s future prospects. 33 HCS
  • 10. Page 10 of 22 Emotional needs include attunement (parents' reactiveness to their children's emotions); attachment (safe, trustworthy relationships which builds faith in others); and emotional punctuation (to help the brain identify what’s correct, positive and worth saving). TWPM Kids from poverty get less attunement time. Attunement is the establishment of a positive, reciprocal, relationship with the primary caregiver. This quality time provides the basis for learning the non hardwired socially appropriate emotions. TWPM Emotional needs include attunement (parents' reactiveness to their children's emotions); attachment (safe, trustworthy relationships which builds faith in others); and emotional punctuation (to help the brain identify what’s correct, positive and worth saving). TWPM
  • 11. Page 11 of 22 Recent evidence (Harris, 2006) suggests that the complex web of social relationships students experience—with peers, adults in the school, and family members—exerts a much greater influence on their behavior than researchers previously assumed. This process starts with students’ core relationships with parents or primary caregivers in their lives, which form a personality that is either secure and attached or insecure and unattached. Securely attached children typically behave better in school (Blair et al., 2008) TWPM 14 Beginning at birth, the attachment formed between parent and child… predicts the quality of future relationships with teachers and peers (Szweczyk-Sokolowski, Bost, & Wainwright, 2005) and plays a leading role in the development of such social functions as curiosity, arousal, emotional regulation, independence, and social competence (Sroufe, 2005). TWPM 15
  • 12. Page 12 of 22 To grow up emotionally healthy, children need • A strong, reliable primary caregiver who provides consistent and unconditional love, guidance, and support. • Safe, predictable, stable environments. • Ten to 20 hours each week of harmonious, reciprocal interactions. This process, known as attunement…helps them develop a wider range of healthy emotions including gratitude, forgiveness, and empathy. • Enrichment through personalized, increasingly complex activities. TWPM 15 Deficits in these areas inhibit the production of new brain cells, alter the path of maturation, and rework the healthy neural circuitry in children’s brains, thereby undermining emotional and social development and predisposing them to emotional dysfunction. TWPM 16 Our United Way of Denton County Community Needs Assessment indicated that one in three students in the Denton County community are at-risk of dropping out of school. Additionally, there are 8,217 Denton County children living in poverty, with 37% of these children under the age of five. Research shows that when these children enter school, they are behind in basic but critical skills, such as reading, math and vocabulary. To ensure that our children are prepared for school, United Way of Denton County, Denton Independent School District, and the City of Denton have created a “Pre-K Coalition”. Our first effort is a community- wide implementation of the ReadyRosie project. ReadyRosie is an innovative, locally developed, online school readiness resource that sends a daily email to parents, caregivers, and teachers with a short video of an interactive activity that can be done with young children to encourage learning foundational skills. These skills include problem solving and math, foundations of literacy, essential life skills, and vocabulary. Our hope is to provide ReadyRosie access to the parents or caregivers of our children in need. Funding for the resource is secured, but we need community help to connect parents, grandparents and caregivers of children under the age of five to this amazing resource.
  • 13. Page 13 of 22 The first phase of this effort is to connect with families near these five elementary schools: Borman Elementary, Ginnings Elementary, Hodge Elementary, Lee Elementary and Rivera Elementary. However, we are committed to reaching all families with young children across the Denton ISD. United Way of Denton County, Denton Independent School District and the City of Denton together are asking you to support this effort with volunteer resources. This program is designed to teach adults how to affectively engage their children in learning in every environment. “Denton already has some great pre-K initiatives to help, but thousands of our most at-risk children are not being reached by traditional methods and programs,” said Roden. Kids “download” the negatives of chaos, disharmony, poor relationships, foul language, poor manners, and weak vocabulary just as quickly and just as automatically as they would any positive or enrichment input. From ages 0-5, the world is downloaded into the brain. Highly immature frontal lobes are unable to delete or reframe any negative input. Those first few years are critically important in the development of a child’s brain. But the most significant skills he is acquiring during those years aren’t ones that can be taught with flashcards. The most profound discovery this new generation of neuroscientists has made is the powerful connection between the infant brain chemistry and adult psychology. Lying deep beneath those noble, complex human qualities we call character, these scientists have found, is the mundane, mechanical interaction of specific chemicals in the brains and bodies of developing infants. These scientists have demonstrated that the most reliable way to produce an adult who is brave and curious and kind and prudent is to ensure that when he is an infant, his hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal axis functions well. And how do you do that? It’s not magic. First, as much as possible, you protect him from serious trauma and chronic stress; then, even more important, you provide him with a secure, nurturing relationship with at least one parent and ideally two. That’s not the whole secret, but it is a big, big part of it. TWPM 181
  • 14. Page 14 of 22 So what’s a guy to do? Sometimes, as parents we just need an idea. A prompt. And that’s what I really like about Ready Rosie. Each day, parents receive a two minute video of activities using simple household objects such as rocks and coins. In other videos, it has activities with food such as counting sugar packets or gummy bears. Others take place reading in the floor at the local used bookstore or searching for sounds at the store. And it’s real parents teaching real children in real places like a restaurant, the city bus, the grocery store, the doctor’s office, the playground, etc. Places where authentic learning occurs. Since there’s not a parenting how-to manual, sometimes it’s nice just to see how others are doing it.
  • 15. Page 15 of 22 This is in part why Ready Rosie was created. Founder, educator, and parent Emily Roden said in an article in the Denton Record Chronicle that she struggled to come up with ideas for teaching her two children and thought a quick video everyday would be an easy way to solve the dilemma. And it is not overly complex. Videos are sent by email to a smartphone, home computer, or the public library computer. The video activities come in both English and Spanish. For those interested, each segment also includes an “expert” video explaining the “why” behind the activity Young adults continue to lead the adoption curve in online video viewing. Nine in 10 Internet users ages 18-29 use video-sharing sites, up from 72% one year ago. On a typical day in 2009, 36% of young adult Internet users watched video on these sites, compared with just 30% in 2008. Online adults ages 30-49 also showed big gains over the past year; 67% now use video-sharing sites, up from 57% in 2008. (http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/110640/everybody- likes-to-watch-90-of-young-adults-use.html#ixzz29ibXjLnS) Over 90% of parents of 0-6 year old children across economic levels are online at least once a day, based on a ResearchNow study on internet usage across the state of Texas (ResearchNow, 2012). www.readyrosie.com is available in English…
  • 16. Page 16 of 22 and in Spanish. 292 50 121 Ready Rosie provides “user” reports. www.facebook.com/readyrosie
  • 17. Page 17 of 22 To ensure that our children are prepared for school, Denton Independent School District, United Way of Denton County, and the City of Denton have created a “Pre-K Coalition”. Our first effort is the implementation of Ready Rosie, which is an innovative, online school readiness resource that sends a daily email to parents, caregivers, and teachers with a short video of an interactive activity that can be done with young children to encourage learning foundational skills. These skills include problem solving and math, foundations of literacy, essential life skills, and vocabulary. The program is designed to teach adults how to affectively engage their children in learning in every environment. The first phase of this effort is to connect with families near five elementary schools: Borman Elementary, Ginnings Elementary, Hodge Elementary, Lee Elementary and Rivera Elementary. The United Way of Denton County Community Needs Assessment indicated that one in three students in the Denton County community are at-risk of dropping out of school. Additionally, there are 8,217 Denton County children living in poverty, with 37% of these children under the age of five. Research shows that when these children enter school, they are behind in basic but critical skills, such as reading, math and vocabulary. Access to quality pre-school education has been proven to have long term effects on students including increased graduation rates, and decreases in behavior problems, crime, and delinquency. To ensure that our children are prepared for school, United Way of Denton County, the Denton Independent School District, and the City of Denton have created Denton County's first Pre-K Coalition and are implementing projects and programs to address our community’s needs. The goals of the Coalition's community partners are to increase kindergarten readiness, provide equal access to parent resources, and to promote lifelong learning and success. Members of the coalition include Denton ISD United Way City of Denton (including the mayor and city council members) Parents Denton Public Library University of North Texas Denton ISD Parks and Recreation Denton County Housing City of Denton Community Development Center UNT Global Leadership Class DAAEYC/UNT The Big Event - UNT
  • 18. Page 18 of 22 Upward Bound at UNT Workforce Solution The Village Church Serve Denton Cook Children’s Hospital Communities in Schools First United Methodist Church First Baptist Church Interfaith Ministries Children’s Advocacy Center Denton County Housing Southeast Denton News W.I.C. Target North Central Texas College Court Appointed Special Advocates First State Bank Various child care centers Etc. School Zone Teams are made up of community volunteers led by United Way. Well over 100 volunteers from community organizations are now participating. Denton ISD Team strategizes to enroll current young students. Eight departments have joined together in this effort.
  • 19. Page 19 of 22 Maps of the school boundaries, apartment complexes, and agencies were provided so volunteers could target the neighborhoods identified by the five elementary schools that the Pre-K Coalition selected. As an example, Lee Elementary School's Spanish-speaking parents, supported by the organization Concilio, hit the streets in their neighborhood to spread the word about Ready Rosie. The local universities provide a Family Fun Day signing families up for Ready Rosie. Posters were hung in each campus that receives Title I and the two district schools for young children as well as across the city. Students wore “stickers” home to alert parents of the opportunity to enroll.
  • 20. Page 20 of 22 www.dentonisd.org features Ready Rosie on the district website. www.dentonisd.org/readyrosie How does the district pay for Ready Rosie?
  • 21. Page 21 of 22 Ready Rosie is a program paid by Denton ISD through its Title I, Part A funds for parents of current and potential Denton ISD students at no charge. The program is designed to serve students from birth to age six. Funding meets the requirement to address the needs of preschool children through section II.D. of the Title I, Part A “Assurances Relating to the Title I Program Plan” guidance and the needs of parental involvement through section VI.A. of the Title I, Part A “Assurances Relating to Parental Involvement” guidance. Ready Rosie is a program paid by Denton ISD through its Title I, Part A funds for parents of current and potential Denton ISD students at no charge. The program is designed to serve students from birth to age six. Funding meets the requirement to address the needs of preschool children through section II.D. of the Title I, Part A “Assurances Relating to the Title I Program Plan” guidance and the needs of parental involvement through section VI.A. of the Title I, Part A “Assurances Relating to Parental Involvement” guidance. II. Assurances Relating to the Title I Program Plan The LEA assures the following: D. The LEA will coordinate and integrate Title I, Part A, services with other educational services at the LEA or individual campus level, such as Even Start, Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, and other preschool programs, including plans for the transition of participants in such programs to local elementary school programs and services for children with limited English proficiency; children with disabilities; migratory children; neglected or delinquent youth; Indian children served under of Title VII, Part A; homeless children; and immigrant children in order to increase program effectiveness, eliminate duplication, and reduce fragmentation of the instructional program. [P.L. 107–110, Section 1112(b)(1)(E)]” II. Assurances Relating to the Title I Program Plan The LEA assures the following: D. The LEA will coordinate and integrate Title I, Part A, services with other educational services at the LEA or individual campus level, such as Even Start, Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, and other preschool programs, including plans for the transition of participants in such programs to local elementary school programs and services for children with limited English proficiency; children with disabilities; migratory children; neglected or delinquent youth; Indian children served under of Title VII, Part A; homeless children; and immigrant children in order to increase program effectiveness, eliminate duplication, and reduce fragmentation of the instructional program. [P.L. 107–110, Section 1112(b)(1)(E)]” VI. Assurances Relating to Parental Involvement. The LEA assures the following: A. If the LEA’s Title I, Part A, entitlement is more than $500,000, the LEA shall reserve at least 1% of its Title I, Part A, entitlement for parental involvement activities, including promoting family literacy and parenting skills. J. To ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the campus involved, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement, each campus and the LEA will do the following: ii. Provide materials and training, such as literacy training and using technology, to help parents work with their children to improve their achievement, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement iv. to the extent feasible and appropriate, coordinate and integrate parent involvement programs and activities with Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, the Home Instruction Programs for Preschool Youngsters, the Parents as Teachers Program, and public preschool and other programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children VI. Assurances Relating to Parental Involvement. The LEA assures the following: A. If the LEA’s Title I, Part A, entitlement is more than $500,000, the LEA shall reserve at least 1% of its Title I, Part A, entitlement for parental involvement activities, including promoting family literacy and parenting skills. J. To ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the campus involved, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement, each campus and the LEA will do the following: ii. Provide materials and training, such as literacy training and using technology, to help parents work with their children to improve their achievement, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement iv. to the extent feasible and appropriate, coordinate and integrate parent involvement programs and activities with Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, the Home Instruction Programs for Preschool Youngsters, the Parents as Teachers Program, and public preschool and other programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children.
  • 22. Page 22 of 22 cshade@dentonisd.org  www.dentonisd.org/federalprograms eroden@readyrosie.com  www.readyrosie.com Chris Shade, Director of School Improvement [Innovation] and Support cshade@dentonisd.org Emily Roden, Ready Rosie eroden@readyrosie.com