If this pandemic has managed to teach us one thing, it’s that family engagement is crucial for our children’s academic success. We, at The Village Method, are passionate advocates for the implementation of family engagement activities both in schools and after-school. Our rich, cultural heritage should be a pivotal part of our children’s curriculum.
The problem is complex and requires tactful tackling. Parents and educators often have strained relationships. The educational system is flawed and built on faulty foundations. This is caused by several misunderstandings regarding our culture and African traditions. Unfortunately, this ends up affecting our children’s academic journeys, to say the very least.
In this article, we’d like to invite you to take a closer look at the complex and ever-changing dynamic between parents and their children’s educators. Read on!
Why Is Family Engagement Important?
According to the Carnegie Corporation of New York, family engagement is one of the most important factors when it comes to the educational outcomes of our children. It dismantles centuries of educational inequity and brings forth a new reality based on mutual consideration and respect for one’s cultural background.
Things can change drastically the moment we connect with educators in an efficient manner. More so, educators should make the conscious decision to stop perceiving African-American parents through a deficit-based lens. Instead, they should decide to engage with them openly and honestly through attractive family engagement activities.
Most parents meet their children’s educators a couple of times a year. Given the context brought forth by the COVID-19 epidemic, things have changed to an unprecedented extent. We have had the remarkable opportunity to get a glimpse into our children’s way of learning.
We’ve also connected with their teachers and we are finally able to witness their way of educating our children. We also intervened when we felt it was necessary and helped our children tackle various projects, as well as their homework.
Family engagement in schools is of the utmost importance because it motivates children to do a better job at school and therefore has higher chances of getting into their desired colleges along the way. First generation college students will also notice great benefits from the implementation of family engagement in schools.
Parental Engagement As a Culturally Responsive Tool
All parents have busy schedules. However, when parents and educators join forces and come together as a team, the benefits are hard to ignore. We highly recommend that you read the book Families and Educators Together: Building Great Relationships that Support Young Children. It emphasizes the vital importance of building a so-called bridge between the home and school.
When educators aim to adopt a culturally responsive and respectful framework in regard to family engagement activities, the children will become more in tune with their culture, traditions, and history. As we all know, the real history of our people has been downplayed and erased almost entirely from the current curriculum.
When educators make it their mission to research our people’s history, our children’s self-confidence will increase and they’ll be much more likely to prosper as adults. It’s our duty to let their educators know exactly what it is that we want our children to learn.
We should be the most valued collaborators of our children’s teachers. After all, we are experts when it comes to understanding their needs and we should always have the final say when it comes to their education. We should always make time during our workday to get in touch with educators and exchange valuable ideas alongside them. This is always well-spent time.
Are After School Activities Truly Necessary?
In 2019, 1,385,680 children would have been enrolled in a summer program if one were available to them. This is highly telling of the need for after school activities. It’s been proven countless times that the implementation of after school activities decrease the chances of children getting in trouble.
Also, working families need plenty of assistance when it comes to their children. What better way to keep them active and safe than by enrolling them in after school activities?
The Village Method is also known to provide so much more than regular after school activities. We have made it our mission to provide each child with the necessary programming that will enable first generation college students to get into their dream colleges and end up giving back to the communities that nurtured them early on.
Parents and Educators, the Conclusion Is…
Parental engagement is a crucial part of our children’s harmonious mental and emotional development. Without it, our youth would be less motivated to achieve academic excellence and, instead, they might end up prone to delinquency, confusion, low self-esteem, and a lack of direction in life, especially for those who want to become first generation college students.
The Village Method is an innovative, Black-owned community-based organization that specializes in offering culturally responsive youth development, family engagement, and community outreach programming. We are dedicated and relentless. However, we need your help! You can either donate, volunteer, or simply share our cause with as many people as possible.