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Involving Parents
Under No Child Left Behind, parents have the right to more information and more choices for their children's education. Career development professionals can play a key role in helping parents make the most of these new rights and responsibilities.



Presentations for Parents

These are presentations career development professionals can use when they hold meetings or conferences for parents.
  • Help Your Child Identify Interests, Explore Careers and Develop Plans for the Future
    English PPT / English MS Word/ Spanish PPT.
    Discusses why parents should be involved in their children's education, how parents can nurture their children's interests and help them explore careers that are tied to those interests, and how parents can ensure that their children's education prepares them well for their chosen career. Includes "parents need to know" facts about the new economy that show how more jobs in the future will require at least some postsecondary education.

  • Help Your Child Prepare for Post-High School Education
    English PPT / English MS Word /Spanish PPT
    Discusses how parents can help their children with planning for further education and training after high school. Includes a variety of post-high school education and training options for parents and their children to explore, and offers examples of careers for each option. Also offers facts to consider for parents to help their children select post-high school education and training options.

  • Help Your Child Succeed in School
    English PPT / EnglishMS Word/ Spanish PPT
    Provides parents with information on how to help their children succeed in school by being involved at home and at school. Includes specific information for parents who have children in elementary, middle or high school.

Getting the Word Out

There are numerous methods for getting the word out to parents on how they can help their children succeed in school and explore careers.
  • Have a career fair on a Saturday and invite parents. Provide a workshop for parents while their children attend the career fair. (see Parent Brochures for possible workshop topics).

  • Add parent sessions to career guidance conferences.

  • Write a quarterly parent newsletter or one-page flyer and post it on your website (see Parent Brochures for possible themes).

  • Survey parents to determine the subjects in which they are interested, and the best way to get information to them.

  • Organize meetings in places that are familiar to and comfortable for parents. Meet parents at their apartment complex, church, park, library, community center or a popular restaurant near their neighborhood. Consider asking high school students or senior citizen volunteers to provide childcare onsite during the meeting.

  • Hold meetings at various times of the day. Consider mornings, lunchtime, evenings and weekends to accommodate many different schedules.

  • Sponsor monthly community family events. Use these events to provide information to parents on how they can help their children succeed in school and start exploring careers.

Finding Funding

You can fund parent outreach efforts in many ways:

  • Form partnerships. The following organizations and agencies may be able to help you reach parents by volunteering staff time, sharing in the cost of a parent workshop, printing the parent brochures or gathering donations:

    United Way
    YMCA and YWCA
    Neighborhood House
    State Departments of Education
    Local Education Service Agencies
    (see your State Department of Education for information on LEAs)
    Local School Districts
    (see your State Department of Education)
    Local Community Service Organizations
    Faith-based Organizations
    Family Service Organizations
    Local Rotary Clubs
    Local Chambers of Commerce
    Housing Associations
    Community Resource Centers
    Communities in Schools
    Boys and Girls Clubs

  • Consolidate brochure orders to reduce costs. You can combine orders for parent brochures from several schools and organizations into one printing run, saving money for the individual schools and groups.
  • Ask a high school or community service club to hold a fundraiser.  A service club fundraiser could raise money to pay for brochures and other material.   You could also ask the club to help distribute information to parents.
  • Solicit donations from local businesses.  Many local businesses support education with cash, merchandise for auctions or raffles, and other fundraising assistance.

Resources

Creating Partnerships, Bridging Worlds: Family and Community Engagement (Turning Points, 2004)
"Features practical, research-based strategies for developing strong school, family and community partnerships that will result in more engaged students and higher student achievement."

High School Outreach and Family Involvement (Social Psychology of Education, 2004)
Researchers looked at whether the efforts of high schools to include parents had an effect in levels of parent involvement. They found that "regardless of studentsí background and achievement, high schoolsí outreach positively and significantly predicted parentsí involvement in a range of parenting, volunteering, and learning at home activities."

Parent Involvement: Title I, Part A, Non-Regulatory Guidance (U.S. Department of Education, 2004)   WORD
Gives guidance to state and local education agencies on how to include parents in their children's education per the requirements of No Child Left Behind.

Reaching Out to Hispanic Populations (NTSC, 2006).  Webinar focused on reaching out to Hispanic populations to encourage career development and the pursuit of postsecondary education and training opportunities. Features techniques, resources and tips.  Available in both English and Spanish.

School-based Workshops for Parents (Colorado Parent Information & Resource Center, 2003)
Three Powerpoint presentations that show parents how to help children at home and communicate with teachers more effectively. The three are titled "Making Homework Manageable," "Loving to Read, Loving to Learn," and "Parent-Teacher Meetings: Easy as A-B-C." They are available in English and Spanish.

It's All in the Family: Planning High-Quality Family Literacy Events (NWREL, 2003)
Looks at family literacy research, profiles five national service projects engaged in family literacy, sets out ideas for family literacy events (including an event planning checklist), and provides additional print and Internet resources "to fuel a wide range of family literacy efforts."

Partnerships by Design: Cultivating Effective and Meaningful School-Family-Community Partnerships (NWREL, 2002)

"[A] guide to help schools and programs assess their current approaches to involving families and community members, and to assist them in implementing more effective strategies."

Supporting Parent, Family, and Community Involvement in Your School (NWREL, 2000)
Provides ideas and suggestions to school staff on how to involve family and community members in school.

Parent Partners: Using Parents to Enhance Education (NWREL, 1999)
Examines the status of parent involvement in schools, looks at ideas for developing parent involvement programs (and explores the potential pitfalls of such programs), and investigates what several schools in the Northwest are doing to involve parents.