Celebrating parents

Members of the Olive Branch Middle School chorus sing during the “Superior Parental Engagement Celebration” program at the DCS Central Services office on Sept. 17. The program celebrated and stressed the importance of parents helping their children with their education.

A successful education experience for school students will happen when parents get actively involved.

That was the message of what DeSoto County Schools termed a “Superior Parental Engagement Celebration” program with its Parent Advisory Council on Sept. 17 at the district Central Services offices in Hernando.

“We are celebrating parents,” said Director of Federal Programs Carol Ingram, who helped organize the morning program. “We want to get our parents fully involved with the schools and this to celebrate them.”

The program included musical selections from the choral groups of Southaven High School and Olive Branch Middle School, poetry readings from Brylee Gardner of Walls Elementary and Miller Blaylock of Lake Cormorant Middle School.

School-based Mental Health Therapist Ashley Haliburton and DCS Nurse Patty Davis also talked about their roles in ensuring success for youngsters enrolled in the state's largest school district.

Reports indicate that parents need to be actively involved in their child’s life, from volunteering in schools, to communicating with their children about their school work. It was also pointed out that great schools have effective partnerships with parents.

The school, the family, and community partnerships are a critical component in educating students.

“It’s extremely important,” Ingram said. “The amount of parental involvement that is done dictates how successful our students will be. Parental involvement, student academics, student performance all go hand in hand.”

As part of the program, it was noted that nearly 500 students completed essays that described how the students felt their parents were “superior.” The names of the students were listed separately and placed into a fish bowl, where Ingram then drew 25 names of students, whose parents won gift cards from the council.

The DCS Parent Advisory Council meets once a semester to “enhance the role of parents in supporting the education of their children, communicate ideas that will affect schools and families, and to present suggestions to the district administration so that actions can be taken.

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.