The first session of the School Smarts Academy March 1 brought 16 inquisitive parents to the Hamilton K-8 School in Anza to learn how to help their children better succeed in school.
“Parent involvement is really the key ingredient for children to succeed in school,” Catalina Lopez said; Lopez is a parent teacher student association member and facilitator at Hamilton School. The academy that will be meeting at the school, 57550 Michelle Road, every Wednesday 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. except during spring break until graduation.
“It is more like a collaboration at the meetings,” Lopez said. The first session dealt specifically with how parental involvement in their children’s learning helps them become successful in life.
The trained facilitators will lead seven interactive sessions that are two hours in length. The free course includes a professionally developed curriculum, presentations, group activities, discussion and hands-on art activities that reinforce key concepts during each session.
The March 8 session dealt with “Preparing for a lifetime of learning,” where participants learned about how their child learns, how to create a home environment to allow their child to succeed and components of being “ready to learn.
The March 15 session will help parents in “Understanding our education system.” The March 22 session is entitled “Understanding your local school system,” and the March 29 session will discuss “Becoming an effective communicator.” The April 12 session is entitled “Taking action and celebrating leadership.” Graduation is April 19.
Lopez said one of the parents at the first session said she works as a volunteer at the school, but still did not know just how the school district actually is operated and its goals.
The School Smarts academy is being offered by the California State PTA in partnership with local PTAs, like the one in Anza, and the school districts. It is designed to help parents learn very tangible ways to help their children succeed in school.
The materials used in the sessions are in multiple languages with interpretation available. Child care and a light dinner are provided. There is no cost to attend.
Parents interested in the academy may call the school at (951) 763-1840.