Working Together toSupport ALL StudentsSession 3: Community Resources
It Takes a Village!Parents and community groups can play akey role in providing extended learningopportunities for students beyond theschool day and school year.These efforts are critical to the well beingof the school and when well implementedwill result in an open and positive schoolclimate for educators and parents as wellas improved learning experiences forstudents.
Work Well with Parents More effective teachers communicate more with parents. More effective schools communicate more with parents. For example, from the Taylor et al., 2002 study, more effective schools often had site councils, focus groups, teachers calling home at least once a month, letter or newsletter, traveling folder home.Effective Schools, Accomplished Teachersby Barbara M. Taylor and P. David Pearson, Eds. Mahwah,NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002
Community Resources toSupport Parent and FamilyEngagement
School Supplies• With the help of community volunteers and one of our business sponsors, Cargill, we will be sponsoring a one-day school supply giveaway for any student entering Southeast Polk schools. Last year we enjoyed helping 591 students get a fresh start to the first day of school with a new backpack containing nearly all of the items on the school supply list. Pre-registration for this service ensures we will have enough for all families who need support and allow us to better plan for support from our wonderful volunteers who help with this service. Please contact Central Place by August 1.
New Shoes for YouIn May, June, and July, families with a child entering aSoutheast Polk school (and who also meet incomeguidelines) may sign their children up to receive anew pair of tennis shoes for the beginning of theschool year.The activity is made possible through a partnershipwith the Altoona Payless Shoe Store, our churchcommunities, and an anonymous donor.Watch the website to learn more about our plans for anew and improved registration process for NewShoes for You.
Jump StartJump Start is a free summer session focusing onschool readiness for children entering anySoutheast Polk kindergarten.Jump Start is for children who have had little orno preschool, although your child may be able toattend if additional assistance is needed to beready for kindergarten.Jump Start will be held Monday throughThursday from 8:30 to 1:00. Breakfast and lunchwill be included.
Kid’s CafeJoin us for our 8th year of FREE Kids Cafesummer lunch and literacy activities.Sessions are 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,Monday/Wednesday, June 4-27.Activities include a healthy lunch, reading,learning, crafts, and games. Local volunteers willlead the activities.Open to any SEP student, ages 4 (by September15) to 5th grade (in fall).
Bilingual BooksThe Read To Me Foundation is a nonprofitorganization whose mission is to distribute free,new, hardcover bilingual (English/Spanish)childrens books.Southeast Polk was selected to receive 200 newbooks, to be distributed to those who participatein our programs.These books will be delivered inside the bookbags courtesy of a Prairie Meadows grant.
Environmental Science and Stewardship Camp A summer camp for SEP high school students interested in the environment is doing more than providing an opportunity to learn about prairie wildlife and plants. The students are building confidence and developing their own vision for a career in science through a partnership between Drake University and Metro Waste Authority. The students have a morning session that exposes them to ecological techniques to understand plants and animals. The afternoon is devoted to stewardship activities. The week-long camp is held at Metro Waste Authority’s 73-acre environmental protection area near Runnels, Iowa.
DiscussionWere any of these community opportunities newto you?Have you experienced any of theseopportunities?How might we help our students and familiestake advantage of these resources?What other offerings might be helpful to ourparents and families?