Parent Involvement 1:1

Earlier this summer, through the Causeway Challenge we awarded grants to 10 different projects that answered the question, “How can parents help transform public education in Chattanooga?”

Harrison Elementary 3rd grade teachers Katie Neil, Kathy Cooley, and Erin Hayden know that a major component of students’ success lies in having their parents involved. Their Causeway Challenge project, Parent Involvement 1:1, addresses that need and equips parents and children with the tools necessary to succeed.

On Tuesday night, Parent Involvement 1:1 hosted their third training session at Harrison Elementary School to help parents become comfortable with the iPads that are being sent home with all 3rd grade children throughout the school year. These smaller group sessions allow for the teachers to give more focused training to the parents.

The goal of Parent Involvement 1:1 is to increase learning opportunities for students and help families stay connected with their children’s education in and out of the classroom. Another resource this project has made available is an application on the iPad that gives parents insights into the daily activities, lessons, and atmosphere of the classroom.

At this particular event, the 3rd grade team of teachers trained 12 parents on how to set up and use the iPads, creating a smoother flow of communication between parents, kids and teachers. These iPads provide the opportunity for children to continue their learning at home, and give internet access to parents who previously did not have it. Another bonus of these sessions is that they provide parents with the training needed to comfortably navigate these devices.

Additionally, the teachers were pleasantly surprised by the positive, community-building aspects that have come from parents learning together at these sessions. Neil noted at the training sessions, “We had parents really getting to know each other and helping each other out during our sessions. We hadn’t thought about the community building that would occur as a result of parents learning together!”

Including the successful completion of two previous training sessions, Parent Involvement 1:1 has now reached almost half of the 3rd grade families! Katie and her team look forward to seeing the project’s success through the school year as these well-equipped parents and students put the training into practice.

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