Hand in Hand With Parent Involvement
Parents, grandparents, business leaders, and community members will go back to school next week as part of a national campaign to encourage Americans to become more involved with education.
"Take Our Parents to School Week," slated for Nov. 18-22, is part of a broader, $2 million effort by the Mattel Foundation and the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington to raise awareness about the value of parent involvement and community partnerships for children.
In 20 communities selected for their diversity and desire to strengthen existing parent involvement, children and adults will get together for a variety of activities. These might include parents shadowing students, computer workshops, mural-painting classes, and handholding ceremonies that create "human circles" around schools.
Participating cities include Birmingham, Ala.; Chicago; Los Angeles; New York; Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio; and Tampa, Fla.
The week is intended to bring together people who don't usually work together in support of schools, organizers say. It will start with public service announcements by actresses Rita Moreno and Meryl Streep.
The national campaign, called Hand in Hand, will give financial support for the activities in targeted cities. Its staff also is collecting information on ways to involve parents and community members in schools, which it provides via its toll-free line.
Last year, more than 20,000 parents participated. For more information, call (800) 953-HAND.