National Parental Involvement Day 

Focuses On Improving Internet Access

 

By Karla Scoon Reid

 

National Parental Involvement Day, on Nov. 21, will highlight a new partnership that aims to provide low-income families with free or discounted Internet access, computers, and training to enable parents to communicate more effectively with their children's teachers and schools.

 

Project Appleseed, the St. Louis-based nonprofit and founder of National Parental Involvement Day, has joined forces with Connect2Compete, a partnership of IT companies and nonprofits that connect low-income Americans to the Internet. Connect2Compete is a nonprofit organization supported by Comcast, Cox, Freedom Pop, Arrow Electronics and CDI Computer Dealers. It receives financial support from the Knight Foundation, Carlos Slim Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, Citi, and Microsoft. Read more about Connect2Compete here.

 

Kevin S. Walker, the president of Project Appleseed, found a quote he gave a publication in 1994 where he boldly predicted: "Cyberspace would tie America's parent constituency together."

 

Walker added in an interview last week: "It hasn't worked that way."

 

Instead, he said poor parents have been left out as schools have adopted technology to improve parent engagement efforts, including accessing students' grades online and communicating with teachers via email. Walker said technology also is an essential tool to recruit and organize parents. Using social media and email to connect parents to a school or to rally around a cause can quickly bolster participation.

 

And teachers in higher-level courses are using technology more frequently in their lessons and to communicate with their students. According to a February poll of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project:

 

  • 79 percent of teachers have students access assignments online

  • 85 percent of teachers seek opportunities to incorporate digital tools into their instruction

 

In recognition of National Parental Involvement Day, Project Appleseed is calling on parents and schools to identify families in need of free or low-cost Internet connections and computers and assist them in registering for the national program. Connect2Compete hopes to reach 100 million Americans who do not have home broadband Internet access. About 70 percent of American adults have high-speed broadband access at home, according to a May poll conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

 

Unlike the federal government's problem-plagued health-insurance website, finding out if a family qualifies for this program is simple, just click here to start. (I tried it.)

 

For those doubters out there who can't fathom that there are people who don't know how to use a computer or don't have access to one, simply visit a local school. My boys are in elementary school and I've had super tech-savvy teachers who text me during the school day and send photos of my children to me via email. Then, I've had others who disavow email entirely and still cut and paste—with glue and tape, not a computer mouse—their homework newsletters. True story.

 

Still don't believe me? Watch how nervous and elated this first-time computer user is in this public service announcement from the Ad Council below. 

November 19, 2013 

 

 

Project Appleseed, family engagement, parental involvement public schools

"A 10% increase in parental participation (a form of social capital) would increase academic achievement far more than a 10% increase in school spending."

Project Appleseed, family engagement, parental involvement public schools

This is not an argument against school budget increases, but an argument for paying attention to social capital (Putnam, Sanders 2001). Research repeatedly correlates family engagement with student achievement, yet this strategy is rarely activated as an integral part of school reform efforts (Weiss et al, 2010).  Our program can increase family engagement in your school community!

Project Appleseed's Parental Involvement Toolbox is ourl program designed for educators and parent leaders to supersize and mobilize family engagement.

You get unlimited membershio reproduction rights to our web site content for distribution in newsletters, memos, booklets, pamphlets and more for one year!*

Learn family engagement with our In-person or Online training!. Utilize one of America's most accessible parent and family engagement leaders in your schools!

Download our slideshow: Strong Families, Strong Schools! Family engagement should be an essential strategy in building partnership with parents.

Pledge

AS A PARENT, GRANDPARENT, OR CARING ADULT, I hereby give my pledge of commitment to help our community’s children ....

Toolbox

Project Appleseed's Parental Involvement Toolbox is ourl program designed for educators and parent leaders to supersize and mobilize family engagement.

Report Card

Project Appleseed provides this self-diagnostic tool which is intended to help parents rate their contributions to their child's success at school.

Membership

You get unlimited membership reproduction rights to our web site content for distribution in newsletters, memos, booklets, pamphlets and more for one year!*

Checklist

How well does your school reach out to parents. The following questions can help you evaluate how well your school is reaching out to parents.

Training

Learn family engagement with our In-person or Online training!. Utilize one of America's most accessible parent and family engagement leaders in your schools!

Events

For 25 years we have lead American education with two celebrated events – National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week

Slideshow

Download our slideshow: Strong Families, Strong Schools! Family engagement should be an essential strategy in building partnership with parents.