Time in classroom fuels engagement for Lake Lucina parents

Nov. 27, 2019 -The first Parent Involvement Day at Lake Lucina Elementary School has created a movement as faculty and staff work to involve parents and engage with their students in the classroom.
“I enjoy coming out here and spending time with him and the whole faculty,” said Mike Lee, a parent.
It’s all a part of the Florida Department of Education’s Family Engagement in Education Month, which recognizes the crucial role parents and families play in their children’s education. It’s an opportunity for schools to work with families to support learning.
The idea of Lake Lucina’s event stems from “Bring Your Child to Work Day,” only instead, children are bringing their parents to school for a day. The day was a memorable experience for Mike Lee, as he got a chance to walk in his third grade son Phoenix’s shoes.

“It takes me back. It’s easy math, but I can see as I’m older now and more removed from the situation, I can see how I use it every day. When I was 9-years-old I didn’t think that I would use it every day,” said Mr. Lee.

With paper and pencil in his hand, sitting in a 3rd grade class next to his son, Lee took his first attempt at getting his “school work” done.
“It’s great to come back and see the stuff I learned 30 years ago,” said Mr. Lee.
“I think it’s great that I’m learning and in the future I think I might learn everything that my dad has learned,” said Phoenix.
The school has shared live learning sessions in the classroom with parents via social media, but this is the first time school administrators have decided to host parents during the day to connect with them.
“I love getting involved with the school as much as I can, just making sure my son Phoenix is doing the best that he can because there’s a lot of obstacles out there and I just want him to stay focused,” said Mr. Lee.
Both Principal Michelle Walsh and Assistant Principal Latrece Brown Sudduth, who founded this inaugural event, are aiming to accomplish that goal.

“I want the parents to be able to extend that learning at home,” Walsh said. “By them hearing how we’re teaching the math strategies and how we are pronouncing some of the sounds for the younger students, they’ll be able to do that as well and reinforce it at home,” said Mrs. Walsh.

Sudduth understands it’s not always easy once the kids take the work home and ask their parents for help.

“Our parents have told us, ‘I really don’t know how to do the math.’ Homework has come back and the parents have written on there,‘I don’t know how to do the work,’ and this is just one of our many ways to reach our parents and engage them and to teach them as we teach their students,” said Mrs. Brown Sudduth.

Additionally, the school hopes to increase volunteers. More than 100 parents took the school up on the opportunity.
“I was really excited to get parental involvement up, looking at the parental involvement from the previous year. I know parents really wanted to get into the school and be there during the school’s activities,” said Walsh.
From watching the students work, to jumping into those activities themselves, parents such as Karixza Campbell said she loves being in the classroom with her son.
“It feels good because I see what they’re doing in the classroom. I see how he comes home versus him just telling me, I’m actually seeing what’s going on in the classroom,” said Campbell.
The Parent Involvement Day lent students and parents some quality time that students won’t forget.
“It feels good that I’m spending time with my dad and learning at the same time,” said Phoenix.
Parents also signed a pledge to remain involved, and they’re already looking forward to the next one.

“It’s been a great experience and I look forward to the next bring your parent to school day,” said the proud dad.

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