Parent Forum Truly Inclusive
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
Road Map Region’s Inaugural Parent Forum authentically engaged parents and families by removing barriers for participation.
by Lynne Tucker, Education Policy and Advocacy Director
“We truly can accomplish anything if we put our minds to it!” For parents and caregivers, these are words of encouragement we share with our children daily. This was no more evident than at the Road Map Region’s Inaugural (First) Parent Forum, an event designed for parents and families from the region.
The Road Map Project is a community-wide effort aimed at improving student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. Seven school districts are part of the Road Map Project. Parent and family engagement has been a core focus area of the project which includes communities representing a huge diversity of cultures, language and ethnicity.
School’s Out Washington and SOAR had the pleasure of being involved in the Road Map Region’s Inaugural Parent Forum held on Saturday, April 20th at Foster High School in Tukwila. What an amazing and electrifying event.
At the resource fair, SOAR provided developmental screenings for children on the spot, while School’s Out Washington signed up parents and families to stay engaged with our monthly e-newsletter and Children’s Action Network.
With well over 900 in attendance, the Community Center for Education Results (CCER) led a group of seven school districts, community based organizations, education and family advocates and parents from the Road Map Region in their first Parent Forum. The event was a huge success, due to extraordinary collaboration by community groups and schools to remove all barriers that could prevent parent participation. You can view photos of the event on the Road Map Project’s Facebook page.
All details in removing barriers were considered:
- Language: 27+ Interpreters were on site to provide interpretation for 16+ different languages during the event and in workshops.
- Cost: was free to all participants.
- Transportation: Getting to the event was made easy for parents and families. The Parent Forum set-up transportation for participants by providing bus and light rail passes for those in need and bus routes were coordinated across the region.
- Childcare: There were childcare providers and volunteers on site who served over 130 children while parents attended the resource fair and scheduled workshops.
- Food Provided: We ordered 750 meals and 12 large pizzas and several orders of bread sticks and 11 subway sandwhiches.
A special thanks goes out to the Road Map Project staff, community organizations and loads of volunteers who made this event possible.
The Inaugural Parent Forum was about as authentic an event as you can get for engaging families from seven school districts across the Road Map Region in South Seattle and South King County. Thank you for all those who made this event possible – We can’t wait for the next Parent Forum in the region!
What strategies to you use for strong parent and community engagement?
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