From the Free Press’ Rochelle Riley:
After years of trying to increase the number of Detroit parents who are involved with the schools and their children’s education, DPS has finally found a way:
The district hired the Detroit Parent Network, which has spent two years creating parent resource centers and training parents in efforts to connect those who raise children with those who teach them. The result is that a third more parents attended parent-teacher conferences and parent meetings in DPS schools last year than the year before. The district also has seen increases in requests for homework hotlines and money-management classes.
Network President Sharlonda Buckman said they have used the parent resource centers to teach parents that their children’s schools should be their homes away from home. To that end, the centers have become places where parents could get everything from coffee to computer lessons, from English as a Second Language classes to help with tax returns. They have support groups for grandparents and teen parents as well as financial management and literacy support.
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From Cass Tech Principal Lisa Phillips:
Our parents patrol morning/afternoon traffic every morning to make sure our students are safe when crossing Second Avenue in heavy traffic. They volunteer in the building working front desk and in the counseling dept, and they are the welcome committee when needed. I call-they are here! They work every athletic game from season to season providing food, counseling, transportation and more. Our parents chaperone every field trip or school events both in and out of the city. They even march with our marching band at every event — over 30 marching sessions a year. They support our stakeholders committee monthly meetings. In fact, we have
parents in our building every day doing something wonderful!