#TakeAStandIndy is a call-to-action to Indianapolis parents, grandparents and guardians – any adult who cares for children and cares about their futures  – to commit to five simple actions to help Indy students succeed in the classroom.

Right now, across Indianapolis, dozens of parents like Krystale Massey and Earl Scott are taking a stand to improve the schools in their neighborhoods – and they are having success!

Turning around a struggling school is a process that takes time, but there are steps you can take at home – right now – to help your child succeed. A great first step was signing the #TakeAStandIndy pledge.

Here's what you've pledged to do and why it's so important:

  1. Ensure your child attends school everyday. It's been famously said that "80 percent of success is showing up," and statistics prove it. Chronic absenteeism is a dependable predictor of student failure as studies show that students who miss more than 20 days of school per year have less than a 1-in-5 chance of graduating from high school. Studies also show that by the eighth grade, school attendance is a better indicator of success than test scores. So getting your kid out the door and on the way to school everyday is a great first step to building a foundation for lifelong success!
  2. Create morning and evening routines. Daily routines give kids a sense of safety and security, and that predictability can ultimately lead to winning outcomes for students in the classroom. Sticking to consistent homework schedules, bedtimes and mealtimes sets a standard for your kids. It also allows them to expend more time and energy on concentrating their schoolwork. 
  3. Talk with your child about his or her day. Taking a few moments each day to talk with your kid is another simple step you can take to help them succeed. The U.S. Department of Education encourages parents to have undistracted conversations throughout the day with your children to help you understand better what's going on in their world. Repeating back to them what you are being told is a great strategy for showing that you care about what they're saying and for demonstrating that you are a great listener. This type of engagement allows you to help your child navigate issues they're encountering at school – be it trouble with their math class, that bully on the bus, or simply to help them understand better the world around them.
  4. Ensure your child reads at least 20 minutes each day. The Children's Reading Foundation reports that reading to or with your child for just 20 minutes each day, from birth through elementary school, greatly increases the chance of your kid becoming a proficient reader by the third grade. The Foundation reports that reading "wires brain cells together in networks that later facilitate independent reading." Other positive benefits of reading include ease in learning the alphabet; a better understanding of different sounds; and the development of a vast oral and listening vocabulary. Reading also grows curiosity, which leads to a love of learning new things.
  5. Connect with your child's teacher at least twice a year. Attending every parent-teacher conference will help you to reinforce at home what you child is learning at school throughout the year. Your child's teacher is your most valuable teammate–you both have the same goal. So open the lines of communication with your kid's teacher  to make it clear to the teacher that you appreciate the importance of your child's education, and that you are there to work with the teacher on any academic or behavioral issues that arise throughout the year.

In taking these five simple steps, you're doing what you can to help your young scholar at home. The next step is to get involved in improving your child's school. Stand for Children Indiana has a number of programs, including Stand University for Parents (Stand UP), to help you help your kids.

One voice is powerful, but many voices organized together create a force that can’t be ignored. 

To learn more about us, like us at www.facebook.com/standindiana, follow us on Twitter @IndianaStand, and get involved in the conversation by using the hashtag #TakeAStandIndy.

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