Gov. Dave Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem are encouraging parents to be more involved in their children's education in order to increase a student's opportunity for educational success. Gov. Heineman has proclaimed August to be Parental Involvement in Education Month in Nebraska.
"It is important that as parents, we take every opportunity to get more actively involved in your child's learning," said Gov. Heineman. "Setting high expectations, meeting with teachers and taking an active interest in their educational achievements are some of the best ways to ensure that every student is on track to meet their educational goals. I hope more parents will take this opportunity to contact their children's schools to find out what resources exist to help them get more actively involved it their student's learning."
Countless studies and examples show that when parents are involved in their child's education, student attendance increases; student attitudes and accomplishments improve; and any previous discipline problems decrease. This generally holds true regardless of a family's socio-economic status, education level or cultural background. Working as partners, parents and schools can maximize strengths, develop strategies and reinforce each other's efforts to help children succeed in their education and in life.
The Governor and First Lady, today, highlighted the work of the Nebraska Community Learning Center Network who are engaged in promoting parental involvement throughout the state, as one example of ways communities and parents can work together to help students learn and grow.
The Nebraska Community Learning Center Network has several ongoing efforts encouraging parental involvement, including activities at this month's Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island. At the fair, teachers, parents and students can learn how the application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly referred to as STEM courses, make events like the state fair possible. STEM education opportunities will be located throughout the fair. STEM will also be featured at Nebraska's Largest Classroom, held at the fair on Aug. 26 and Aug. 27.
The Nebraska Community Learning Center Network is a statewide public-private partnership that supports sustainable, high-quality, school-community collaborations that provide youth with what they need to be successful in school and in life. The network is part of the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, a non-profit that aims to build strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults.
"Parents and teachers working together is an essential element in student learning and academic achievement," said First Lady Sally Ganem, a former elementary school teacher and principal. "Good teachers combined with strong parental involvement leads to good learning. We have seen firsthand the difference it can make in the life of a young Nebraskan."
The Nebraska Community Learning Center Network collaborations provide students access to areas of learning they may never experience, including hands-on STEM activities. Through the process, participants' exhibit increased school attendance, positive behavior and improved academic performance.
"Parent involvement remains one of the most important factors in helping ensure that all children succeed in school," said Jeff Cole, Vice President for School-Community Partnerships for Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. "We know, however, that the structure and hectic pace of family life today presents many challenges for parents to participate in traditional parent involvement activities at their children's schools. That is why Nebraska Children and Families Foundation believes it is vital for schools to work in collaboration with community groups to develop a new opportunities that enable all parents to get engaged in supporting their students education."
Additionally, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) will be airing the August episode of NET's series "The State of Education in Nebraska" which looks at community efforts designed to build parental engagement. "The Challenge of Parent Engagement" airs Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. CT on NET2 World. The program will feature an interview with Gov. Heineman and First Lady Ganem.
The "State of Education in Nebraska" is a two-year initiative led by NET Learning Services and the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. As a statewide transmedia effort, "State of Education in Nebraska" examines issues and connects Nebraskans to the important role that innovative school-community partnerships can have on improving student achievement.