Last Tuesday was another great day in history for the Bibb County School District when the Welcome Center and Parent-Teacher Resources Lab hosted the annual Summer Academic and Enrichment Fair, which was sponsored by Title I. We are overjoyed by the turnout that we had. It’s always a positive thing to see our students involved in summer programs, and we estimate that about 400 parents, students and community members came out to learn more about what programs are being offered in the Middle Georgia area this summer. We had representatives from Mercer University and the John Drew Tennis Center, from computer camp and science camp, from Wesleyan College and the Museum of Arts and Science, and even from the District’s own departments. To have these services come together at the Welcome Center – our one-stop shop for meeting parents’ needs – and to share what they are offering was just outstanding. This was a truly collaborative effort to make our parents aware of as many resources as possible, and at the end of the day, the school district and the community will both benefit tremendously from the effort. We are looking forward to so many more events like this in the future.
Events such as this and the one the Welcome Center will host this Saturday called “How Do I …?” are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the services we’re offering to parents, the students and the community. “How Do I … ?” is a parent and student information festival scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Welcome Center. During this festival, school and community representatives will provide parents with helpful information about school zones, tracking students’ grades, class schedules, nutrition, school projects, opening a college savings account, and more. But that’s not all we will offer at the Welcome Center. This month, we will begin hosting a series of academic classes in four core areas – literacy, math and science, technology, and life skills. These workshops are designed to help parents so that they can assist their children with successful matriculation.
At the Welcome Center we’re going to provide a receptive environment that fosters active learning for both parents and students. We want to support all families building a foundation in alignment with the mission, vision, and core values of the school district. Our parent academic instructors will explore new ways to ignite healthy parent and student engagement to build strength of character and college readiness. We want to make sure parents and students are prepared for college readiness.
Classes will be offered in the morning and in the evening so that working and non-working parents alike will be able to take part. Workshops such as those in critical thinking, math and science will be directly in line with Common Core Georgia Performance Standards so that not only is a parent learning about the core content areas that their child is learning, but they are also learning ways they can help their child learn and understand these standards. There will be about 5 classes in a workshop session, but these classes are not dependent upon each other. We know that parents might not be able to make it to every class, so the lessons will be new each week so that those who can only start class in the third week of the session will still benefit. There is no cost to parents to participate in these workshops, but we are asking that parents call or e-mail the parent academic instructors to register just so that we have a head-count. After that, the only thing that we ask parents to bring when they come to class is their thinking cap.
We hired parent academic instructors to help parents help kids in the classroom. Parents need to understand what’s taking place in the classroom and they must have the skill sets that will assist them in understanding the work that is done. Some parents are hesitant to visit their child’s classroom because schoolwork has changed considerably in the past 20 or 30 years. Our academic instructors will provide that connecting piece for them so they will feel comfortable assisting their students in the core content areas of math, science, literacy, and also in those new computer skills. Building the confidence in our parents is going to be essential in moving our District forward.
We are encouraging everyone to learn more about the courses being taught by parent academic instructors at the Welcome Center. Visit http://bibb.k12.ga.us/welcomecenter.html or call (478) 779-3700 to learn more or to speak to a parent academic instructor.