Preparing Staff for Parent & Family Engagement During COVID-19

 

It’s time to head back to school but COVID-19 has impacted how schools are operating and many schools are left wondering how to reach out to parents in their efforts to increase parent and family engagement. We have been working with educators for 20 years with our research-based parent engagement programs, training, and materials. Here are a few strategies to incorporate into your plans for staff development this fall that we know work.

Use Culturally Relevant Teacher Preparation

To prepare your teachers, we provide a culturally competent foundation for family literacy that honors Latino parents and helps teachers to understand the acculturation process, how socioeconomic influences affect education, how to draw upon the strengths of what parents already know, and how to work within the diverse language and literacy skills of one group of parents. Teachers leave our webinar training with a renewed understanding of parent engagement, become more culturally competent, and receive our specific step-by-step curriculum with activities and books to use with parents. In addition, teachers have access to free ongoing support as they plan for and implement their parent program. 

Make it possible for parents to become ambassadors and leaders in workshops

When parents get involved in workshops or online meetings with other parents and with teachers, it’s a win-win situation. In our programs, parents become leaders in establishing a reading routine with their children, in discussing literature, and in developing new vocabulary and language skills. Our books and materials are culturally rich, truly engaging and help parents develop confidence. As parents become more visible as volunteers and more comfortable in the school setting, they spend more time with their children and new dialogue occurs about goals, school and literature. Graduated parents reach out to more parents and their involvement continues to evolve and improve.

Expect Real Academic Changes

Parent engagement efforts must be specific when you reach out to the Latino families in your school and involve them in the school-going culture. The bottom line is that we all want to see real changes in academics for reading, vocabulary development, and ESL and with overall involvement at home and at school for the families in our schools. The Latino Family Literacy Project has a notable track record in this key area, having received recognition from the White House and from state education agencies across the country. Teacher evaluations of its programs arrive regularly in our office and continue to tell us that the programs work!  They work because they are culturally relevant, meaningful, and 98% of parent attendees increased their reading habits with their children.  Let us help you reach your goals in parent involvement and improved academics in reading and vocabulary.

Digital Use of Our Programs

Many schools have adapted our program for parent and family engagement during COVID-19.  Your school might be headed back to face-to-face classroom instruction this fall, while other schools are still teaching remotely. Our programs have a strong track record with parent involvement at school, but our programs are also very adaptable!  Through the use of Zoom meetings, we have new guiding curriculum regarding how to make our programs work for parents so that they can work with their kids in reading, literacy, and vocabulary development at home.  Once trained to use our award-winning programs, providers will have access to the new digital guidelines to use with parents on Zoom. 

Katherine Del MontePreparing Staff for Parent & Family Engagement During COVID-19