Kelly Ramsey, Parent Information and Resource Center, said she has focused her career on working with parents to help educate their children. She spoke on campus Nov. 18 to a small crowd about the need to be a partner with the schools to get the best results.
“It is important for a parent to be involved with their children from cradle to college,” she said. There are several programs available to help children succeed in reading, writing and arithmetic, but without a parent’s involvement, the success rate of children drops dramatically.
Ramsey has 25 years of experience in the child development field.
She cited expert Uri Bronfenbrenner, co-founder of the Headstart program, who states: “The family seems to be the most effective and economical system for fostering and sustaining a child’s development.
“Without family involvement, intervention is likely to be unsuccessful, and what few effects are achieved are likely to disappear once the intervention is discontinued.”
Without parents remaining involved in their children’s development, they are less motivated and less likely to retain the knowledge they have learned.
Ramsey also tells parents, “Be involved with the children’s school.”
Ramsey said communicating with the children’s school is critical in their development. Given that parents today are stretched thin in spare time, Ramsey recommends conversing with the children’s teacher in any method from e-mail to text messaging or even a spiral notebook sent back and forth with the child.
“Face to face is obviously the best method, but as long as you are communicating in some fashion that is what is most important,” Ramsey said.
Divorced parents are also encouraged to be involved, including the noncustodial parent.
Ramsey said schools are required to have a parent contract, a document between parents, students and schools to ensure children reach their highest academic potential. The contract became a state law with the “No child Left Behind” program.
“No one knows your child better than you,” Ramsey said. “You must be the advocate for your children.” Ramsey said a child doesn’t just conform to a school, but the school needs to conform to the child.
Parents should work with teachers to help a child achieve better success in the classroom. If a teacher is having trouble with your child, discuss with the teacher how to best work with your child.
Ramsey also reminded parents they still need to be involved during middle school and high school. Ramsey recommends meeting with your children’s teachers to let them know you, as a parent, want to be involved.
“Most parents stop being involved as much with their children when they reach middle school but this is the time they need you the most because they are experiencing so many things emotionally and physically,” Ramsey said.
“Without being overbearing, let the school and the teachers know you are still there.
For more information on parent involvement or activity ideas, visit www.okpirc.org. If parents would like help with getting involved with schools or a consultation to help in discussions with your children’s school, contact Ramsey through the center at 405-478-4078 or 877-7OK-PIRC.