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Area: SCHOOL:school community connections and partnerships

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    Empowering Parents

    1/1/05 - Washington Educational Telecommunications Association

    Reading is a critical skill for everyone. From the moment your child is born, there are simple things you can do to help him become a good reader. You can also watch for signs that he may have trouble learning to read, so that you can get help early.

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    Let's Try: A Marketed Bibliography

    1/14/10 - Ferguson, Dianne

    This idea of a marketred bibliography involves persuading others to read and talk about new ideas by making it attractive and enticing – by “marketing” your task to them the way commercial companies market their products to entice us to buy them.

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    Let's Try: Getting Creative with Family Volunteers

    1/14/10 - Ferguson, Dianne

    School personnel need a long and varied menu of ways families can contribute beyond the traditional options of things like helping in classrooms, reading to students, or doing paperwork in the office. The presence of more family members in school increases the ratio of adult to students. Almost regardless of what they do when at school, their presence – their willingness to interact with students while they are there – will make a difference.

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    Let's Try: Mentors

    1/14/10 - Ferguson, Dianne

    The mentors strategy teams up more familiar and comfortable family members with those who need some help getting to know the system. It’s best to match up family members who share similar cultural and/or language background. Teachers or other school personnel can be mentors as well, but family-to-family is often the most successful.

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    Let's Try: Mini Surveys

    1/14/10 - Ferguson, Dianne

    Learning what families think about the school and their children’s progress is important information for school personnel, and we need to work harder to gather it! So, instead of sending home a long survey, use opportunities when family members are already present in the school to collect their responses on a couple of survey questions that they can complete quickly and move on.

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    Let's Try: Office Greeters

    1/14/10 - Ferguson, Dianne

    To make sure the school is a welcoming place for family members to visit, arrange for family members to volunteer as office greeters during busy arrival and dismissal times or other times when there are likely to be a lot of visitors. Having family members act as office greeters to other families helps strengthen the connections with community and support often busy school personnel because they can take more time with family member visitors, making sure they get to where they need to go and...

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    Let's Try: Pajama Party

    1/14/10 - Ferguson, Dianne

    Host a pajama party for elementary school students and families in the evening. Everyone is invited to come in their pajamas to hear bedtime stories and have cookies and milk. Families are encouraged to bring their favorite storybook or offer a favorite oral story in their native language. This activity could be extended to junior high by turning it into a movie night, along with popcorn and other snacks and followed by a discussion of the movie.

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    Let's Try: Shadowing

    1/14/10 - Ferguson, Dianne

    Some schools use this shadowing strategy regularly as part of their ongoing program evaluation. By having family members first experience and then share the information with other families and discuss “what it’s like to be a student here”, family concerns and satisfactions can be gathered and shared with school personnel.

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