Earlier this week, 35 Denver public schools launched the Mile High Parents campaign, which asks parents to commit to spending 30 minutes each school day with their children. According to Rocky Mountain News, Mayor John Hickenlooper was among the first to sign the “5280” pledge, vowing to spend what adds up to 5,280 minutes a year with his 6-year-old son.
The campaign was conceived by Marlene De La Rosa, chairwoman of the DPS Parent Empowerment Council and the mother of twin 9th graders, as she was doing homework with her son one evening. “I told him what I was thinking about and he calculated out the amount of time,” De La Rosa told the newspaper. “It actually works out to about 30.7 minutes each day.”
Parents who sign the pledge are given daily tracking forms and tips on how to spend the time together, with suggestions such as walking the dog, reading the newspaper, or talking about family traditions. By committing to the 5280 pledge, parents are also eligible to win prizes, including gas cards and starter accounts at CollegeInvest to help save for college tuition.
For some, however, finding 30 minutes a day can be difficult, especially for single parents and those who work night jobs or attend classes. Veronica Miera, a working mother who is taking GED classes, said, “I’m lucky if I read even 15 minutes with my kids.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.