ERIC Number: ED360038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Utilizing the Parent Center Concept as a Means To Improve the Relations between Parent and Child/School and Community.
Steele, Toren Anderson
Blalock FIRST (Fund for the Improvement and Reform of Schools and Teaching) is a 3-year, federally funded intervention program designed to increase school attendance, student achievement and self-esteem, and parent and community involvement in school activities among low-income housing project residents. As a way of easing strained parent-school relations, a Parent Center was established in the program's pilot year. Over the school year, 61% of the school's families used the center, which is a spacious area within the adjacent elementary school with living and dining room furnishings. The center serves as a vehicle to facilitate parents' involvement in their children's education as well as communication and trust among parents, project staff, and school personnel. Parents share their concerns and offer suggestions on improving the program. One activity initiated by the parents involved a dance class and a weekly practice session staffed by parent volunteers. The job of acting as assistant dance instructors provided parents with experience in planning, public speaking, coordinating events, keeping records, and otherwise participating in an activity in which they were personally invested. In follow-up interviews, parents expressed their satisfaction, their sense of accomplishment, and constructive ideas on similar undertakings. During the year, parents completed several projects and saw themselves as successful change agents. Several parents have taken on increased responsibility within the school. (AC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Georgia State Univ., Atlanta. Center for the Study of Adult Literacy.