Saturday program seeks to help parents and students
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The parent and student empowerment program finds its traces in the One Voice program.
“They [parents] wanted opportunities to learn things and build better relationships with their kids,” FISD parent assistance coordinator Patrice Dunn said. “Sometimes they wanted things that were on Saturdays because they’re working and their kids are in sports and that kind of stuff so Saturday became the day for that to be. So really it was meeting a need that the parents had expressed in the district and that’s what it ended up being.”
Offered once a month during the school year, the parent and student empowerment program provides an opportunity for families to connect and discuss common issues within daily life in the community.
“It definitely benefits the district because it’s free of charge, it’s offered on the weekends and the students are able to attend as well,” SOC behavior intervention facilitator Lisa Vernon said. “I won’t call it a therapy session for families, but it’s definitely an opportunity for families to network and connect and share ideas, struggles, concerns, everything, viable feedback from our presenters.”
Unlike other opportunities held during the school week for parents to meet with counselors such as the coffee with counselors meetings, the parent and student empowerment program is offered only on Saturdays.
“Coffee with the counselors is definitely a great way to get parents out during the morning,” Vernon said. “However, parents, because of the busy work schedules that the parents have and the workload that kids have these days, we found that it was necessary to provide more opportunities year round for the students and the parents to come together on the weekend and to talk about a variety of tactics to present to families.”
Rather than focus on what happens at school, the program seeks to help build better relationships at home.
“It’s an opportunity for parents and students to work through conflicts,” Dunn said. “It helps them build relationships with each other so they can get along better with their parents and their parents get along better with their kids so the topics that we pick are kind of hot topics for parents. Everything that we do in that program is about building that relationship between the parent and the child.”