Just the beginning

Parent & Family Engagement | 02/10/2016

Ashley Thomas
Family Engagement and Organizing Specialist

Ashley Thomas leads Stand University for Parents (Stand UP) classes and helps parents organize school campaigns.

THIS is what it’s all about!  Empowering parents to take steps to improve their schools!

You may have seen an article in the Indianapolis Star back in December that followed a Stand University for Parents (Stand UP) class at IPS School 42.  The parents learned skills to help them advocate for their children and other kids at the school. One of the things the article focused on was how the parents wanted to get kids excited about reading.

I’m proud to say they’ve taken action!   This week, parent Courtney Williams led a group of other parents to host a Reading Campaign Event at IPS 42.  It wasn’t easy.  Courtney organized her members to call all of the third grade families, communicate with the school to help with set up for the event and took time to loop in other school community partners.  The school’s Parent Involvement Educator (PIE) Ms. Johnson was very excited to support the parents with any logistics.

The parents collected plenty of book donations over the past few weeks to give to the third grade children and their parents at the event.  There were also library card applications and information given out, pledge cards that the parents used to promise to read to their kids and IREAD3 data, goals and information. 

Courtney and her team executed a great meeting for the 17 parent attendees and gave a presentation on the importance of our children reading by the 4th grade.  They highlighted the alarming statistic that only 50 percent of the school’s third graders pass the IREAD3 test.  This is important because children failing the test are more likely to eventually drop out of school.

Parents in the audience were moved by the presentation of Courtney and her team…and so was I. I was very proud to watch my Stand UP parent graduates organize an event on the school level that will have a very big impact on the kids. 

This is just the beginning.


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