By Emily Scharfenberger, director of strategic partnerships, Beech Acres Parenting Center
Beech Acres Parenting Center believes that parents and caregivers are the biggest champions and strongest advocates for their children. As the first and most important teachers in children’s lives, parents are responsible for helping them achieve their full potential. It is important to equip parents with the necessary skills to help their children be more successful. Therefore, Beech Acres Parenting Center places parents at the center of its education strategy and everything the organization does.
Each parent has his or her own unique strengths, and helping parents to uncover and cultivate their strengths enables them to intentionally engage with their children. In doing so, they can equip their children to be the best they can in life.
It is important to meet parents where they are and build genuine relationships with them because it enables us to understand their needs. Then we can make the connection with the necessary resources and community partners. This also applies to the school setting—making sure there is a connection made between the school, parent or caregiver, and the community.
The relationship between parents and school staff is critical, and connecting and igniting this relationship can drive better success in school. The ability to coordinate and be a liaison between school, parent or caregiver and community partner helps bridge some of the gaps and provide support for all areas. This hopefully will help deepen the relationship and increase the communication happening between the parent/caregiver and the school before meetings need to be scheduled.
Beginning the flow of communication between school staff and parent/caregiver as early as possible is important to build the relationship. This will help with the child’s overall school success when everyone can be on the same page working toward the same goal. Providing training for the school staff around trauma, parent engagement, and behavior modification is a key component.