The Impressive Benefits of Parental Involvment in Schools (by Kelly Lange)

PTA chalkboard picAs a mom of a 2nd and 1st grader, I have found great joy in volunteering at their elementary school over the past three years. We are blessed to be apart of a school with many actively engaged parents and our students benefit from their engagement daily. I have also thought a lot about schools that don’t currently have as much parental involvement. The combination of my volunteer experience and writing this term lead me to the following research question:

How does parental involvement in schools benefit children, families, schools, and communities?

Part I: Research

  1. Mapp, Karen. “Title I and Parental Involvement: lessons from the past, recommendations for the future.” AEI Paper & Studies. (2012) Web. 3 March 2014. http://go.galegroup.com.libproxy.pcc.edu/ps/i.do?action=interpret&id=GALE|A286558551&v=2.1&u=pcc&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&authCount=1
  • In this article, Karen Knapp details the history of parental involvement recommendations and regulations in the Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Knapp reviews the success and failures of past regulations for parental involvement, or family engagement, in Title 1 schools. This information is used to provide recommendation for future family engagement initiatives in Title I schools. Throughout the article, the fact that family engagement strengthens schools is prominent. This article was published by a reputable, unbiased source, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). “AEI is a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare” (www.aie.org). It is also interesting to note even the U.S. government is striving to implement programs enforcing family engagement in elementary and secondary education. The government has seen enough research supporting the benefit of parental involvement in schools that it is one of the key factors in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
  1. Meyers, Scott M, and Meyers, Carrie B. “The Dynamics of Parental Involvement in Schools from 1996 to 2007.” Journal of School Public Relations. 34.1. (2013): 74. Web. http://go.galegroup.com.libproxy.pcc.edu/ps/i.do?&id=GALE|A345073112&v=2.1&u=pcc&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w
  • This research article published in the Journal of School Public Relations researched two main questions: 1. Have aggregate parental involvement levels in schools increased over time (specifically since the No Child Left Behind Act)? 2. Have the predictors of parental involvement changed over time? After conducting the research project, the authors concluded that from 1996 to 2007 1. Aggregate parental involvement levels have increased and 2. Predictors for parental involvement have not changed and parental involvement disproportionately decreased among parents who traditionally struggle to be involved in their children’s school. In addition to researching the trends of parental involvement in school in recent decades, the authors review the background and published benefits of parental involvement in schools as well as make recommendations for the future on what schools, school boards, and families need to implement in order to improve successful parental involvement. Distinction is made between at-school involvement and at-home involvement, with at-school parental involvement demonstrating greater benefits than at-home involvement.  This article also addresses the larger issue of how to strengthen schools through parental involvement in all schools, even those with a high population of low-socioeconomic families.
  1. Bernstein, Margaret. “Parental Involvement in Education Leads to Successful Students, Stronger Schools.” Cleveland.com. 11 November 2012. Web. 3 March 2014. http://www.cleveland.com/bernstein/index.ssf/2012/11/parental_involvement_in_educat.html
  • Cleveland.com is a website that features real-time articles from Ohio’s largest newspaper, The Plain Dealer. Bernstein’s article highlights a charter school succeeding at achieving high levels of parental involvement and other groups arising in the state to bolster parental involvement. Throughout the article the obvious is stated in many ways that “involved parents mean stronger schools.”  The article emphasizes the educational and family benefits of parental involvement in schools as well as addresses some of the barriers and possible solutions to parental involvement.
  1. Olsen, G, and Fuller, M.L. “The Benefits of Parental Involvement: What Research Has To Say.” Education.com. 20 July 2010. Web. 3 March 2014. http://www.education.com/reference/article/benefits-parent-involvement-research/
  • Education.com is a website geared towards parents to provide them with resources and information to enhance their children’s learning while making it fun. Olsen and Fuller’s article is a succinct review of the benefits of parental involvement in schools has for children, parents, educators, and schools. The bullet points highlighting the benefits of family engagement for each groups involved is a great resource. It touches base all parties involved and doesn’t merely acknowledge educational benefits but larger family, social development and parenting issues as well. This article provides me with concise information to support my persuasive writing.

Part II: Public Writing

My writing will be made public as a link on the Oak Hills Elementary PTO webpage, oakhillspto.org. My goal would be to educate parents on the benefits of volunteering at the school and encourage them to make family engagement a priority.

Why Be Apart of Oak Hills PTO?:
Because When Families are Engaged, Everyone Benefits

Did you know that research overwhelming supports the fact that when parents are involved in their children’s school students, parents, educators, and schools all benefit? There is a large body of evidence confirming a strong and positive correlation between involved parents in grades K-12 and student academic and behavior outcomes. According to Olsen and Fuller at education.com, children with involved parents tend to achieve more in school, have a more positive attitude towards school, and have improved behavior at school. Parents who are involved in their child’s school experience increased interaction and discussion with their child, which leads to increased sensitivity to their child’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. Educators who work at schools with high parental involvement report having higher morale and higher job satisfaction. Lastly, schools with actively involved parents tend to achieve better community support and higher quality programs.

There is more good news! Research also demonstrates the link between parental involvement and student success regardless of a families’ race/ethnicity, class, or parents’ level of education. Being active in your child’s school life and education isn’t only for well educated, upper class, stay-at-home moms! All parents and families can foster an environment that contributes to their child’s success. Teaching your children the importance of education, getting students to school on time and ready to learn, attending parent-teacher conferences, and reinforcing at home what your child is expected to know and do are ways that families can cultivate a culture of student success. However, it appears that the positive benefits are even greater when parents are not only involved at home but also actively involved at their child’s school. Families who volunteer at school and participate in school community events are affecting their children’s success at school for good! And when lots of families make this commitment to be involved, every student at Oak Hills will reap the rewards.

The goal of the Oak Hills PTO is to be this active link between families, students, teachers, and the community. Knowing all the benefits that exist, we encourage you to make being involved in your child’s school life a priority. Please browse through the Oak Hills PTO website to discover the numerous opportunities available for you to volunteer. Or better yet, contact a PTO officer, ask an involved parent, or talk with your child’s teacher about how you can get involved. When you are actively engaged at Oak Hills, everyone will benefit!

Resources

Advertisements

One comment

  1. This is such a great project — and the fact that you’re using your work to directly impact the parents in the school you’ve been working with — fabulous!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: