Originally created 08/08/06

Involvement vital to kids' success, parents are told



Whether it be at a magnet school or a traditional public school, children are the same. Parents, however, are the difference, a Richmond County school board member said.

Parental involvement is key to a child's success, Barbara Pulliam said about the parental forum and empowerment workshop she and board member Joe Scott held Monday night at Glenn Hills Middle School.

"If you empower a person, you have given them the tools or the necessary skills to make themselves stronger," said Mrs. Pulliam, who is also a retired teacher.

Monday night's program helped parents by putting them in touch with some of Richmond County's senior school leaders and providing a session on how parents can become more involved in their children's education.

"That's why I'm here today, because of the fact I do want to educate myself and I am a supportive parent," Murphey Middle School mother Dora Hawes said.

Ms. Hawes knew her child's school was on the needs improvement list and knew schools on the list must offer transfer options to other schools. it wasn't until the forum, however, that she understood why such options weren't provided.

That's because schools can't transfer pupils to other schools on the needs improvement list, said Virginia Bradshaw, the assistant superintendent for instructional services.

All 10 middle schools in Richmond County are on the list.

Academics and discipline, however, can be strengthened through parental involvement, Mrs. Pulliam said.

Other questions from parents concerned safety and discipline.

M.W. Henderson noticed discipline problems on school buses so bad that he described the situation as out of control.

In such situations, parents should call the school or transportation department and report the school bus number so that problems can be addressed, said Michael Shinn, the director of transportation.

In the parenting workshop, community members learned the value of beginning education in the home.

Educational consultant Bernice T. Sanders told them to look for simple ways to engage their children and hone their "mega" skills - basic skills that aid their learning.

Mrs. Pulliam called herself "greedy." She said she was satisfied with the turnout of about 60 parents, but would have liked more.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

MEGA SKILLS


Learning can start at home. Here are "mega" skills parents can instill in their children:


- Perseverance


- Caring


- Effort


- Teamwork


- Common sense


- Responsibility


- Confidence


- Problem solving


- Initiative


- Motivation

Source: Empowering Parents educational consultant Bernice T. Sanders