Jeannie's Perspective on School Engagement

Access to High-Quality Schools, Parent & Family Engagement | 10/18/2016

MaryGrace Longoria
Educator Organizer

MaryGrace is responsible for parent and educator organizing

In honor of Family and School Partnership in Education Month, we are publishing a series of blog posts on what it means to be an engaged parent. Studies show that when parents, families, and schools collaborate effectively, students are more likely to succeed in school.  Our latest blog series asks Stand for Children parent-leaders to answer questions about what it means to them to be an engaged parent.

Name: Jeannie Nelson

How many children do you have, and what are their ages?

I have four children ages 7-1, two boys and two girls. 

What made you decide to get involved with Stand for Children?

One of the reasons I got involved with Stand for Children is I wanted to help my kids' school grow and be a better school for all the kids. With the training and resources from Stand I have been able to start to see the growth in my school! Thanks to Stand I have learned how to get the resources my school needs to help our children.

What do you think it means to be an engaged parent?

When I first thought of what an engaged parent meant I thought of someone in the PTA running fundraisers, decorating for the school play, and making costumes. In all reality, being engaged can range from reading to/with your kid, making sure their homework is done and that they go to school prepared, communicating with their teacher, and volunteering in the school.

How do you help your children be successful in school?

One of the biggest things I think I do to help my kids be successful is set reasonable expectations for how they should behave in school, and then be there to support them!

What have you done to get involved in your local school?

I first started to be engaged with my kids’ school when I saw my son’s teacher struggling to keep up with a large class size and not have a full time para. I simply started helping staple books for the kids and put lunch cards away as well as other odds and ends she needed. The nice part was some of the things I did could be done at home so my two babies didn’t have to be at school all day!

What would you say to other parents who want to get involved in their child’s school?

If other parents want to get involved in their kid’s school one of the best ways to get started is with their kid’s teacher. Let them know when you are available and ask if there is something you can take home with you to work on. My husband works during school hours but he does organize and cash in the Box-Tops for the school. I have parents that don’t speak the same language as most of our students or any of our staff and they are able to help in a classroom. Therefore, to parents should never worry about what they feel is a limitation, because schools can almost always find ways to work around them!

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