‘It takes a village’
Allen Sanders
RISD Community Relations Director

This week the Rockdale Intermediate School is our highlighted campus and Principal Kathy Pelzel has many good examples of our school district partnering with our community.

“Research is very clear when it comes to the educational success of students. Parent, family, and community involvement in education correlates with higher academic performance and school improvement. When schools, parents, families, and communities work together to support learning, students tend to earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and enroll in higher level programs.”—NEA president Dennis Van Roekel

At Rockdale Intermediate we are continually looking to build effective partnerships. Parents and family members play a vital role in the education of our students. It’s not just about fundraising and planning parties. The critical element is the academic support needed for every student to be successful. We started building these partnerships when we kicked off the new school year with a remarkable turnout for Meet the Teacher night. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles joined our students as we began the process of building positive relationships between the family and school.

Parents can impact success by ensuring their children do not miss school unnecessarily and that they are on time each day. They can also make sure their child completes homework and nightly reading assignments. Finally, parent to school and school to parent communication is vital in student success. Last week, our teachers met with parents to discuss student achievement and ensure that all parties were on the same page for student success.

We are also reaching out to business and community members to help support students. For example, the Rockdale Rotary Club provided a dictionary to every student in the third grade. Not only do third graders get to use this fantastic resource throughout the school year but the dictionary is theirs to keep when the academic year is complete. Books are also a valuable resource for our students. Recently, we held our annual Scholastic Book Fair where we had many community members donate their time to help with this event. This year we implemented the All for Books program.

The program provides an easy and effective way to unite the school and community. Because of the $340 donated by staff and community members, 70 students were able to enjoy owning a brand new book from the book fair even though their families didn’t have the resources to buy one.

Local businesses have also teamed up with Rockdale Intermediate to promote student success. Recently, Miller-Starnes Chevrolet Buick, Rockdale Country Ford, Lee’s Landing, Floyd and Dawn Byrd, Judith Matula, Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home, Paul Dixon with Edward Jones, Terry Browning with Edward Jones and Pruett Insurance donated to our Perfect Attendance Incentive Program. The program gives students who earn perfect attendance the chance to win one of four bicycles to be given away this school year. Time and experience are also a valuable commodities that some businesses share with RIS students.

Deborah Stephens of Garden Treasures and Landscape has shared her expertise with our students as they designed and made improvements to our above ground garden. Students are developing real world skills while providing a service to our school.

“It takes a village to raise a child” is a popular proverb that reminds us that the entire community plays an essential role in the success of the child. Parents, families, educators and communities— there’s no better partnership to assure that all students have the support and resources they need to succeed. Hopefully, you too will find a way to become involved with the future of our community, state and even our nation—our children.

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2013-10-24 digital edition

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