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Increasing Parent and Community Involvement in Local Schools

by Ann Luginbuhl, 2014 Washington County Teacher of the Year 6th-8th Grade, Charlotte Elementary School

On December 5, 2104 Educate Maine held the Pipeline to Prosperity Symposium in Portland to honor Maine's best educators and business leaders. In addition, break out sessions were held to foster communication and collaboration between educational and business leaders. I moderated a session on fostering parental and community involvement in local schools. All of the participants agreed parental and community involvement in schools represents a win-win for all parties and many ideas to increase these interactions were discussed. I collected some of those ideas here as well as a few others I found among the multitude of great ideas online.

If you are interested in some research that supports the value of parental involvement you can read an article here: http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/evidence.pdf

Scientists and researchers can study questions about the effect of parental and community involvement. They can question what is cause and what is effect, but we, as educators, know that it REALLY does take a village to raise our children. We know that the more people we have on our team the better off we and our children will be. The better we know our communities and the better they know us the better we are able to cooperate and work together to accomplish the highest of societal goals, educating our youth.

"Mrs. L" teaches 6, 7, and 8th graders at Charlotte Elementary School in all academic subject areas. She has been in this position since 2013. Prior to that she spent over ten years as the Resource Room teacher at the school. She also serves as the school's Technology Coordinator and Robotics Club Advisor. Ann holds a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College and a Master of Arts in Education from George Washington University. Ann spent two years in Sierra Leone as a Peace Corp volunteer.

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