“What we want to do is work with the community and offer parent courses for parents [whose children] attend our schools,” Annabel Rodriguez-Romero, whose roles include ESOL coordinator and FLC coordinator, said. “We want to piggyback on what communities are already offering and after a certain number of sessions at the end of the year we will graduate [the participants].”
The program will focus on four categories: Parents as Advocates, Parents as Teachers, Parents as Learners and Parents as Leaders. The categories were derived from Karen Mapp, a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education.
“Parents as Advocates is [parents] helping with all the school stuff — what’s the curriculum like, what’s the building like, how do I support my student in the classroom and at home ...,” Director of Curriculum Diane Hart said. “Parents as Teachers is what they can do outside of the home to help their students be healthy, drug free and alcohol free and those sort of things.
“Parents as Learners is for parents who want to learn some things as well ... some parents want to learn Spanish and some parents want to learn English and some parents want computer classes and we can tie in good, healthy habits, like how to set up a good healthy kitchen ... it’s all part of that healthy well-being.”
She said Parents as Leaders is intended to help younger parents and parents new to the community to build good support systems.
For example, Parents as Advocates will feature courses on benchmarks and monitoring their child’s progress, helping parents ensure they fully understand how their child is performing in the classroom.
“Our thought was can we not have some workshops where parents [for example] actually learn how to measure their students’ reading levels, how many words per minute,” Hart said. “That’s an easy thing for parents to do and we thought we could hold workshops like that to help parents ... get a sense of how their child is reading based on [a classroom reading score].”
Rodriguez-Romero said the FLC will team up with Family Bartow Resources, The Bartow County Library System, Etowah Housing Authority, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Goodwill Career Center, The Resource Center, Rollins Child Development Center and Georgia Highlands College.
“We want to offer [the classes] at different locations rather than just the schools so we can make it more convenient for parents to get to,” Rodriguez-Romero said. “We know transportation can sometimes be an issue and so we want to make sure it’s accessible and just offer it in different areas in the community and see what areas where we can offer these courses.”
She added, “With some of these courses the goal is to offer them in the mornings and afternoons with [the possibility of] some of the courses being online for parents who can’t attend.”
For a complete list of courses and updates on course schedules and locations, contact Rodriguez-Romero, firstname.lastname@example.org.