Today we introduce you to a unique Program called Parents Reaching Out.
What is PRO?
PRO actually stands for Parents Reaching Out. We provide education and appropriate tools for positive discipline techniques and parental involvement in school so the parents can be able to communicate with their children and be involved in the schools as well.
Helping parents get involved at school.
As parents, our experience has been that there are programs in the schools, but not specific programs that address this specific issue. They have general programs, the schools that do have programs, but not all of them do so there is a great need for these programs. Also, we found out that a lot of the parents that attend these seminars act like they've never heard of these tools. We've had parents that have older children, parents that have more children than us and parents who have more experience, but what they tell us is: "Wow I didn't know that." "This is so helpful." "Thank you so much for sharing this with us. "Thanks for the enlightenment." We do find that there is a need. There's a great need. And like we said, not all of the schools have it so definitely a lot more of the schools need to have them.
Why PRO is in existence and the need for it.
Being parents, care-givers, moms, grandmothers, you name it; we've always volunteered in the classrooms or different school functions and just tried to be part of the school community. To us it just seemed like there were barriers to gaining information from the schools and actually being part of some type of strategy to work with the children who may have issues with school work or teachers. It was like being pushed away from being part of the solution. It just seemed like parents weren't really welcomed or weren't part of the environment to see positive change happen for the children. We wanted to volunteer but it seemed like "no, we have it covered". So one of the things that We would do was just go in and volunteer on our own and it started as us just going into the classroom of our own child. From there we would make sure that the school, administrators, or teachers would know we were there to help. After gaining some ground with the school staff, we wanted a good flow so we would know that our children's needs were being met.
"Parents Reaching Out"
There is so much parents have to offer, that If a school doesn't have a parent program or PTO or PTA it was really a move on our part to try and organize parents. For whatever reason there might be language barriers; there would be disconnect from the community we would just try as a little group of parents that did get together, go into the schools and see how we could help join in on whatever the school was offering. It was a give and take situation so we had to organize as parents first and then take it from there.
Recent Seminars for Parents Reaching Out.
To provide Parent Training we wrote a grant to the California State PTA for $1,000. We worked with the Westmoor PTSA to get the grant and they got it. That's how they were able to get the services into the school. The training was wonderful, we had a great attendance of close to 50 people. Some of the topics we covered were, Effective Communication Skills. Positive Discipline Techniques, and how parents can be more involved in their child's education and school. After the seminar some of the comments were: "This needs to be done year round not once a year." We need to have this as assemblies." "We need to have this for all the students in the school and all the parents." We're happy to say that the PTSA has scheduled the Parents Education Night and Parents Reaching Out Seminars again for this school year. We understand that a lot of the parents don't know how to even talk to the schools or talk to the teachers. They feel like outsiders. So this is why we teach them ways to feel comfortable to go into the schools, introduce themselves, talk to the principals and teachers. Also, they need to be going to the PTA meetings and voting on whatever changes or programs need to be coming into the schools. They need to feel comfortable.
Norma G. and Marion Brown are the Lead Facilitators for a unique Program called Parents Reaching Out. They both write and speak regularly about why there is a need for more parent involvement in schools and how their program addresses Bullying and Violence in schools.
For more info go to http://askacademy.org and http://stopbullyingsystem.com