The Importance of Parent Involvement
Paideia is more than a school for children; it is a community for families. Paideia was founded by a group of parents and continues to encourage and support the active involvement of all parents in the life of the school.
On any school day you will find parents on campus in roles ranging from planning campus wide events to doling out lunches to reading with children. After school you will find parents helping with Booster Club activities, helping students build a set for a drama event, setting up a reception that will follow a concert or attending a parent discussion group. Parents get involved at Paideia to be a part of their children’s experience and to be apart of the community.
“My parenting has been enhanced by my role at Paideia. Let’s be honest; parenting is hard work. But being an involved parent in this wonderful, vibrant community has made it easier. And I’ve made memories that I’ll carry with me forever.”
A visit to the Paideia campus communicates to prospective parents that this is a different school option for their children. Similarly, a walk across campus on any day looking for parents will convince you that the experience is different for parents.
On any weekday you will find parents on campus in roles ranging from planning campus wide events to doling out lunches to reading with children. Come back in the evening and you might find parents hard at work raising money for the annual fund or selling snacks at a basketball game or even building sets for one of the many dramatic productions. Parents get involved at Paideia both to improve their children’s experience and to be a part of the community.
“After being at schools where my involvement was frowned upon, it was refreshing not only to be allowed to come to school, but also feel truly welcomed and encouraged to play an active role in my child’s educational experience.”
Parents assist on campus or play leadership roles in a variety of ways. The involvement of parents is in three basic ways.
First, parents assist with classes or activities their children are involved in. Roles vary with the ages of children. For younger children it might be helping with reading or cooking in the classroom. For an older child your help might be needed passing out playbills for a performance or selling tickets to a basketball game. At the most basic level, parents help teachers, coaches and leaders of extracurricular activities create a class or program that is better for our students.
“I truly enjoy being a parent volunteer at Paideia. Meeting more people gets me out of my comfort zone and pushes me to try things that I would've never imagined. It allows me to be there for my children and be more a part of Paideia.
Parents also get involved in planning community events. Our calendar includes traditions that are enjoyed by many such as Grandparents and Special Friends Day, followed by a barbecue for all families on Saturday. Art Visions is a fine arts and crafts sale in November that raises money for the Art Program. The Latino parents host a “Day of the Dead” celebration that provides students with an opportunity to share those traditions. Twice a year parents host a “Faculty Appreciation Lunch” with food that rivals a caterer’s menu. These are just a few examples but all help create the community for our children and families that make Paideia special. Participating in some of these events will help connect your family to Paideia.
“My child's education at Paideia has provided me as much a community as it has her. I'm a better parent for knowing her teachers and her friends, and this has only been possible by the gift of parent involvement.
The third type of parent organization are those that relate to a parent interest or affiliation. Examples of these groups include The Black Parents Organization, Paideia Cooks and The Green Team. There are groups that create quilts, support sports or support the arts.
Often these categories overlap. Parents with an interest in golf created a fall tradition of a tournament to raise money for the school. Paideia Cooks help feed us and also host an online community to share recipes. The Paideia Quilters create lovely quilts to raise money for the financial aid program.
"I love that my kids always register joy when they see me at school, but never surprise; I belong there. It's so wonderful that Paideia is a school where my presence is welcomed, and that to my children, it's a given. Paideia is an extension of home."