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How One Mom Helped Get Others Involved

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By GreatSchools Staff

Working With the School:

The principal and parent liaison have been thrilled with the increase in involvement from Latino parents and with the extra help with supervising students. The parent liaison supported and encouraged Tanyit when she began supervising students in the mornings.

Major Challenges:

The biggest challenge was helping the parents overcome their hesitation to become involved in the school. The keys to Tanyit's success were persistence and a focus on the importance of parents being involved with their children. She was not afraid to ask parents to help, and then ask again and again. She also never stopped stressing to parents the importance of supporting their children both at school and home. "If you are here [at school], you have power in the school. You can help your kids. That is the right thing for your kids."

How the School Has Benefited:

Tanyit's efforts have made James Lick a safer place for students in the morning now that there are plenty of adults to keep an eye on them. She has also contributed to making the school a more welcoming place for Latino parents and helping them become a very important part of the school.

Tips for Other Parents:

Tanyit urges parents to not be afraid to be involved in their kids' schools and reminds them that being involved helps children both academically and socially. Tanyit's own daughter was not happy when her mother first became a strong presence at the school, but she now understands why and recently told her mom, "Thanks."

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

08/27/2009:
"Is there a way for other parents to create a chapter for their school from the state they live in? Example I would love to create a chapter here in Springfield Massachusetts, who do I go about creating such thing, I believe a cub for latinos will be huge here, I am latino myself."
01/7/2008:
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
09/7/2006:
"Way to go, Tanyit and Great Schools for getting the word to the rest of us! In Michigan, too, there's a parent support group forming from the positive influence of Hispanic neighbors in one section of our city: Grand Rapids. It's called IPPI: Integrating Proactive Parents Initiative...uniting parents seeking proactive solutions for ALL children. Everything we do is started by parents, for parents...in the homes, schools and churches of our neighborhood. And all meetings (every Monday) and materials are in Spanish & English, too. Our goal is 50 parents in each group and our foundation is built through establishing relationships of trust between cultures and school communities. We have 9 schools and 5 different School Districts represented in our 17 parents so far. Also, we're seeing stereotypes about each other being dispelled: Hispanic parents getting to know African-American parents, getting to know the differences between El Salvadoran and Mexican parents, for example. It's a great beginning for some parents with young children and a support for Middle/High School parents, as well. THANK YOU for encouraging folks like us with your story! Peace Out & Within, Diann Rockwood "
09/5/2006:
"We have the same exact problem at our school. The problem is that we don't have a single Spanish speaking parent on the PTA. Actually, there we only have 3 consistently active parents! I personally pay one of my employees for translating our flyers. Your article is giving me some hope that maybe this school year will be different. "
09/5/2006:
"WOW! That is so wonderful to read and great to know we still have caring parents out there...great job Tanyit! You made a difference that will be felt for a long time. My mother never did go to any of my events nor did she partake on any of the PTA when I was in school and yes, it was the fact she was scare since she did not speak English nor did have hardly any education. Thanks again!"
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