One of my favorite parts of our work with schools is getting to meet and work alongside parents who are committed to their children’s schools. Over the past three years, I have gotten to meet several parents, like Cynthia and Nelissa, who are deeply engaged with their kids’ schools.
Both Cynthia and Nelissa have participated in Core Groups at their children’s school. The purpose of these groups is to bring the many stakeholders in the school’s success together to think critically and reflect on activating the strengths they all have to improve students’ learning experiences while enhancing parent and teacher relationships. For Nelissa, part of activating her strengths is “showing up” for her kid. She remembers how “there was a certain feeling” she got when her parents were able to come watch her. Nelissa shared how “I want my child to grow up with the feeling and confidence knowing that I am there every step of the way along with him.” Cynthia knows that her involvement will pay off as she and her daughter “prepare for the future.” Cynthia shared that “as a first-time parent I want to be able to understand my kid’s environment in school.” She has found that this familiarity is a “powerful tool” when advocacy is needed.
These women have continued their investment in their own leadership skills by participating in the Grassroots Leadership Training program, designed to give participants tools to utilize their leadership abilities in their neighborhood and community. Nelissa and Cynthia both said that their participation in GLT and in Core Groups have helped them recognize that this “extra step” they are taking in their kids’ school has “opened them up to more options” when considering how to relate to their children and the teachers at school. They both have gained a deeper understanding of what school staff do for their kids every day and have loved “knowing that there is a team behind them that can help guide them in their role as parents.”
That both Nelissa and Cynthia are seeing fruit from their work to take that next step in their children’s school reminds me how valuable commitment is. We hope that their commitment serves as an inspiration for you. What will be your next step in your school or neighborhood?