- Beginning this week, DonorsChoose.org is collaborating with the Carnegie Corporation to offer a funding match of up to $1,000 to help schools create projects or extend existing projects to improve parent involvement in education.
- Once the project is funded, schools can receive additional opportunities to support family engagement projects by earing DonorsChoose.org gift cards.
- Roughly 85% of parents feel they can make a difference in their child’s academic progress according to a survey from the nonprofit organization Be a Learning Hero.
This project sounds like a great way to get a parent engagement project off the ground. Though the projects are limited to a total cost of $2,000, a lot can be done with that funding if school staff members brainstorm ideas. However, these funds only last until they run out, so applying soon is recommended.
There are a number of great ways to engage with parents already in practice in school communities. Some are educational opportunities such as Parent Universities or the U.S. Department of Education’s Parent Camp. Pairing these events with opportunities for food, entertainment and fellowship may draw in even more parents.
All Pro Dads is another way to encourage reluctant fathers into spending an hour a month at the school having breakfast with their child while learning more about skills that will enable them to better support their child’s education. Schools could also set up an art night, where parents work alongside their children in creating a project, or a family STEM night, where parents and student explore experiments and science exhibits together. Collaborating with a local college or community college could make these events easier. The most important element is to get parents to become more involved with their child’s education and to model the desire to learn for their own children.