Parental engagement plays a fundamental role in the schooling and educational success of their children. Parental participation in schooling is generally a multi-dimensional agenda involving major educational stakeholders, such as parents, students, and teachers. It involves teachers educating children at school, parents assisting their children with homework at home, and promoting parent-teacher collaboration to create a conducive environment for kids to learn. Parent involvement in education is especially vital for children from low-income families, vulnerable to inadequate educational and social-emotional support. Therefore, family engagement in children’s schooling activities is paramount to promoting improved performance.
Bronx County is one of the United States’ most populated counties, with an estimated population of 1,418,217 as of 2019. The county’s ethnic composition includes Whites (44.7%), African Americans (43.7%), American Indians (2.9%), Asians (4.6%), Native Hawaiians (0.4%), and Hispanic/Latinos (56.4%) (“QuickFacts Bronx,” n.d.). Approximately 52.8% of its population is comprised of females, while 47.2% are males. Spanish is the most prominent language in the county, with 634,893 speakers, followed by English and other West African languages (“Bronx County,” n.d.). Its households have an average income of 38,467 dollars and a median age of 34.4. In 2018, a house’s mean value in the county was 436,100 dollars, which is approximately 1.9 times higher than the national average of 229,700 dollars (“Bronx County,” n.d.). The county is the home of several reputable universities and colleges, including Fordham University, State University of New York Maritime College, and Manhattan College (“New York City,” n.d.). According to the United States census, between 2015 and 2019, approximately 72.8% of persons aged 25 and above were high school graduates and higher while 20.1% had graduate degrees and above.
Family/Community Events and Volunteering
Multiple family/community events and volunteering opportunities can promote parent engagement in schools. Family participation programs such as parent-teacher conferences, game nights, and family seminars are wonderful opportunities to connect families. Volunteering promotes family involvement by offering parents and children a shared purpose while encouraging kids to prioritize schooling. Cooperation between families and children can enhance their motivation to work hard both in school and at home. Various events where parents and kids can work together in schools include creating health cards for hospital patients, talent shows, and creating a charity to help the disadvantaged. Such activities offer children and families a wealth of service-learning experiences and enhance the bond between them. Other volunteer opportunities for parents and children include working together at the school carnival stand, making or selling cookies for a school bakery, or organizing a food or a book drive. These activities bring families, teachers, and students together, promoting improved academic performance.
A person can support the school/home connection in a positive and respectful learning climate and appeal to diverse populations in many ways. First, one can promote family-school partnership by recognizing the disconnection between the two parties (Ballen & Moles, n.d.). On the one hand, most parents feel that teachers belittle their contributions or address them in a language they cannot understand. On the other hand, most educators feel parents should be increasingly involved in their children’s education. Bridging this gap can promote better parent-teacher relationships and a conducive environment for learning. Second, training teachers to collaborate with parents can improve the schooling experience (Ballen & Moles, n.d.). Learning institutions can mitigate mistrust and cultural obstacles between families and teachers through neutral communication arrangements, including resource centers, casual learning sessions, family liaison visits, and meeting of the campus. Lastly, schools should accommodate parents’ working schedules by conducting meetings and conferences on weekends and weekday evenings (Ballen & Moles, n.d.). Such schedules can encourage families to engage in numerous social and leisure opportunities in schools, providing increased contributions to their children’s schooling.
Educators can use multiple innovative technological resources to communicate opportunities to the community. Having a telephone in each classroom is one of the most powerful ways to enhance contact between families and teachers (Ballen & Moles, n.d.). Schools also use various emerging tools such as a dedicated hotline to guide students in assignments. Moreover, voicemail services and taped instructor messages outlining the school exercises and everyday tasks are beneficial to students and their parents. Audiotapes and videotapes are also used for written parental correspondence (Ballen & Moles, n.d.). Computers will increase the academic performance of children and draw together families and schools. The number of families using the internet is rising exponentially, easing the communication between schools and families.
Family engagement is a crucial component of every child’s education. It entails developing relationships with families supporting the development of both students and parents. It’s a shared responsibility between students, educators, and parents. Family involvement is a continuous process from a child’s birth to their school-age years. Community demographics play a vital role in children’s education. Examples of family/community events and volunteering opportunities that can promote parent engagement include parent-teacher conferences, book drives, and talent shows. A proper parent-school partnership can promote a conducive learning environment. Technological resources that can be used to communicate opportunities to families include telephones, hotlines, voicemail services, audiotapes, videotapes, and computers.
Ballen, J., & Moles, O. (n.d.). Promoting family involvement. Reading Rockets.
Bronx County, NY. (n.d.). Data USA.
New York City, Bronx. (n.d.). New York.
QuickFacts Bronx County (Bronx Borough), New York. (n.d.). United States Census Bureau.