By Carol Marsh
BRADFORD — Staying “plugged in” through great communication between parents and teachers is the key to a child’s academic success in the coming year. When students struggle, parents often search for practical help and positive encouragement to keep their kids motivated and ready to learn. One local school district has created a path to help families navigate any bumps along the road to reading, studying, and getting homework assignments done.
Bradford School District Literacy Coordinator and K-2 teacher Nicole Hackett, along with her colleagues, recently held a free “Parent Engagement Kick Off ” event which brought school, community and families together, under one roof, for an evening of family fun, snacks, and friendship, and getting kids excited about starting school this year.
Over 100 people from the district attended the event, which allowed students and their families a chance to meet teachers and staff in a fun, upbeat way, making a family “spaghetti and meatball” paper hats, and listening to Bradford School’s Dean of Students, Bob Daughtery, read from the 1985 children’s classic Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. Afterward, families and staff watched the movie based upon the book, while enjoying free concessions of popcorn, hot dogs, chips, ice-cream and water.
Children also received backpacks with school supplies, including scissors, crayons, highlighters, glue sticks, erasers, tissues, pencils, and composition books, along with a tote bag. Every student also received a free voucher for a free small French Fries from McDonald’s, along with either a Sensory Bin (for grades K to 2) or a “Take and Make” Mini Tornado Kit (for grades 3 to 5).
All students in attendance were entered into a raffle to win two Chromebooks with headsets, 15 Family Fun Night Baskets with Pillow, blanket, pizza and brownie kit, and a game, and eight Family Fun Bags with a movie, popcorn and candy. Chromebook winners were the families of Brody Frantz and Hadley Land.
“I would especially like to thank the Village of Bradford businesses for their donations, support and advice,” said Hackett. “Also, many thanks to the teachers and staff who volunteer their time, and to the families in our district!”
Very special thanks go out to Parent Engagement “Kick-Off” event sponsors Production Paint, Common Ground Christian Church, Marshalls, Scott Family McDonalds, Weldy’s Dairy Bar, Patty’s IGA, Greenville National Bank, Covington Savings and Loan, Clark’s Pizza, The Train Stop Restaurant, Stocker-Fraley Funeral Home, Bradford Athletic Boosters, Bradford PTO, Bradford Public Library, and Bradford Village Administrator Rick Looker.
Hackett hopes that last week’s kick-off event will increase student literacy by encouraging parents to spend time with their children reading and doing short, focused activities which help reinforce the weekly lessons learned in the classroom. The mission of Bradford School District’s Parent Engagement Program is to increase “academic stamina” – by bringing the school, teachers, parents, and community together. Each month throughout the academic year, families are encouraged with ideas and materials, through in-person and at-home activities, to support their children’s social, emotional and academic success.
Each Parent Engagement session, which last around 45 minutes, includes a 15-20 minute pre-recorded video to help parents implement an activity to do with their child, with opportunities to ask questions and receive feedback.
Upcoming Parent Engagement Sessions for Grades K to 2 are: Oct. 11, Nov. 8, Dec. 6, Jan. 10, Feb. 14, and March 14.
Upcoming Parent Engagement Sessions for Grades 3 to 5 are: Oct. 18, Nov. 15, Dec. 13, Jan. 24, Feb. 28, and March 21. All sessions will be held “Live” at 7 p.m., recorded and then posted on the school’s website.
Questions, or interested in learning more? Just contact Nicole Hackett at [email protected], or call 937-448-2811.
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. Have an event to share? She can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-4314.