Community Involvement Important To Schools
Beyond more parent involvement in our public schools, community involvement can yield valuable benefits. The National Education Association suggests how parents, teachers and community members can work together to promote high quality education for children:
MsoNormal>• Establish school-business partnerships. Schools and businesses can work together to prepare students for further education and for life as productive members of their communities.

MsoNormal>• Grant parents time-off. Local employers should allow parents occasional time off from work to attend school meetings, conferences or to volunteer in the school.

MsoNormal>• Engage in activities to better meet the needs of children and their families. For example, the county health department can schedule regular visits to the school health clinic. Social service workers can meet with school counselors. After-school program providers can operate homework clubs utilizing textbooks and other materials provided by the school.

MsoNormal>• Establish a mentoring program. Community volunteers from civic and religious organizations, local businesses or the Chamber of Commerce could set up a mentoring program for “at-risk” students.

MsoNormal>• Utilize public libraries. Local libraries can sponsor story hours for preschoolers and their parents, special programs that motivate children to read, or specialized evening topics of interest to parents.

MsoNormal>• Request services from businesses, churches and civic organizations. Schools can look to these groups as sources of volunteers and sponsorships for evening or after-school tutoring programs, drives to collect school supplies for needy students, and fund raising for scholarships.

• Keep schools open. To allow parents and neighbors to use the library, playground, computers and other equipment, school buildings could remain open on evenings and weekends. Let local groups hold their meetings and special events at the school.

• Recruit retirees to volunteer in the schools. Retirees are an invaluable source of experience and expertise.