Many New Jersey schools are experiencing a rough period of time. Local districts seem pressured to lower budgets, raise test scores and navigate through changing federal policies. Even with these challenges, it brings a smile to our collective faces to see Newark Public Schools still finding time to recognize parents and community members who are making a positive difference in the most important part of the education system — our children!
On May 26th, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Dale Talbert and Regional Parent Coordinator Beverly Evans hosted the “Parent Volunteers’ Recognition Awards Program” to acknowledge parents and community members who have given their time to support students and school staff throughout the school year. Carl Shaw, Program Coordinator for the New Jersey Parent Information and Resource Center (NJPIRC) here at Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey, was also invited to the event and received the “Community Service Award” for his role in helping to set up and enhance parent resource areas in four Newark schools.
After receiving the award, Mr. Shaw used the platform to reiterate the importance of parental awareness and engagement to boost academic achievement for all students. I asked Mr. Shaw what his single, biggest piece of advice would be for parents with regard to their child’s education:
The biggest piece of advice I would give parents regarding their child’s education is to get very familiar with the school community and become an active part of it! The school community includes teachers/staff, school leaders, district leaders, other parents, and even other students! School-aged children spend an average of 7 hours per day in school so it is imperative to get to know the people who are sharing this time with your children!
We want to extend a huge “Congratulations!” to Mr. Shaw, and encourage you all to learn more about what he is doing for parental involvement here in New Jersey. You can find more information about the New Jersey State Parent Information and Resource Center (NJPIRC), a program of Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey, and the schools with NJPIRC Parent Resource Areas at www.njpirc.org.