Parental Involvement Contributes to Children’s Academic Success
The school year is almost over, and students are counting the days until summer vacation. Kudos to all the teachers who tirelessly serve in a crucial role to educate our youth, day in and day out.
Caregivers, teachers, peers, extended family, media, heredity, and the environment all contribute to a child’s development; however, parents (if present) are the most powerful influence in the lives of their children. Parental involvement not only shapes development during the initial years of life, but also during the adolescent and adult years.
Given this important role, to what extent should parents be involved in their children’s development? According to the National PTA, “Parental involvement is the participation of parents in every facet of the education and development of children from birth to adulthood, recognizing that parents are the primary influence in their children’s lives.” Parents have a tremendous responsibility to be involved with their children both inside and outside the home.
Decades of research have demonstrated that the more involved parents are in their children’s development, the greater chance children have to succeed, particularly in their academic performance. Consistently, researchers have discovered that greater parental involvement in a child’s education is associated with:
- higher student grades and test scores
- better attendance
- higher rates of homework completion
- more positive student attitudes and behavior
- higher graduation rates
- greater enrollment rates in post-secondary education
When parents are involved, children achieve more regardless of their socioeconomic level, ethnic/racial background, or the parents’ educational level.
According to Dr. Stephen Green, Extension Program Director for Family Development and Resource Management, recent research on early brain development has shown that positive parental involvement needs to begin long before children enter into formal schooling arrangements. The early years of a child’s life are critically important for healthy brain development, attachment formation, and language acquisition. When parents become actively involved with their children at an early age, they lay a foundation for learning that will benefit children for the rest of their lives.
Every time I present a program to parents, they will hear me say that today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, so we must train them in a positive manner!
Kids’ Camp: Fun, Food Fitness
Parents of Sulphur Springs students in grades 1 thru 4 should be expecting information about the upcoming “Kids’ Camp: Fun, Food, Fitness” within the next three weeks. Registration information will be distributed to the schools in May for teachers to send home with their students. 2016 will be the 6th year for Kids’ Camp, and our committee is putting together another great camp!
Nutrition (including hands-on food preparation), physical activity (including Walk Across Texas), and gardening/horticulture are the three main components, but we will also include fire safety, pet safety, stranger danger, weather/emergency management, and other short segments.
This camp has steadily grown over the years, and many students have been with us all through their early school years! Cost of the camp is only $10 per student (or $20 per family if more than one age-eligible camper), which covers 12 sessions (9:00 a.m. to noon) on select Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in June and July. Watch your child’s take-home folders for information. Registration is limited to the first 40 campers.
Due to the popularity of Kids’ Camp, our Community Health/Wellness Alliance has added another camp opportunity for students who have “aged out” of Kids’ Camp. The 2nd annual Skills Camp will take place July 5 thru 8, and will include many hands-on opportunities! This year’s camp will include outdoor cooking, leather work, woodworking, welding, and technology. Due to the nature of this camp, only the first 10 Sulphur Springs students to register will be accepted. Registration brochures will go to the schools toward the end of May, so parents are encouraged to watch for the information!
“There are not traffic jams on the extra mile” – Zig Ziglar