Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why Parents Matter

Tuesday night we had our Quarterly Volunteer In-service Meeting here at United Way of Utah County.  Our Welcome Baby volunteers gathered together and we had a wonderful presentation by Lori Thorn, Principal at Polaris High School, an alternative high school for Alpine School District.  As an alternative high school Polaris struggles with graduation rates and attendance.  Most of their students come from low income families, have difficult home lives, hate school and/or are young mothers.  However, despite these challenges Polaris made a major overhaul last year and redesigned the curriculum and changed the focus.  They took into account all of the barriers their students face and tried to remedy them as much as they could.  They created smaller classrooms, shorter class periods, mini terms, incentives, etc. and because of their efforts things have drastically improved.  They went from a 7% graduation rate to a 60% graduation rate in three years.

However, no matter how many improvements the school is making, Lori said the number one thing that contributes to students graduating is parental support.  Parental support!  She was basically shouting it from the roof tops that having parents at home who help their kids with homework, stay on top of their school work, come to parent teacher conferences, and participate in their child’s schooling in any way is the biggest and most positive thing that can effect a student’s success in school.  Not only does it affect their schooling but it affects their futures.  Students with parental support are more confident and can see a future for themselves.  Lori shared how her students that have the support at home excel and are motivated.  But she also shared many storied how students were so close or showed so much potential but because the support wasn't there they gave up or turned away.

So parents remember, the next time you are frustrated that your child doesn't want to do their homework or you feel that you don’t know how much good you are actually doing,  THEY NEED YOU!  Never give up on your kids. Ever!
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To participate as a home visitor volunteer to educate families, or for playgroup curriculum and ideas contact us.