Site-coordinators Christina Webb and Jaime Merritt have created a parent resource center at TM Pierce Elementary School in Philadelphia, PA. The room was set up to provide parents with the necessary resources to help their children succeed in school and foster a sense of community at TM Pierce. “When planning the resource center we came to realize there are many obstacles for parents with regard to not only their children’s education, but also in their everyday lives,” says Webb. The room provides resources for attaining GEDs, voter registration information, health care information, college preparation materials, and information on community events and services (such as story time at the public library, etc). The room is also used to hold workshops to teach parenting skills and ways to bring education into the home.
The parent resource center has created a place where parents and educators can come together to meet the needs of the students. The first workshop given at the parent resource center was facilitated by a teacher at TM Pierce and provided ways parents can assist their children in subjects such as math and reading. Working with a parent coordinator, Webb and Merritt were able to implement a School Advisory Council (SAC). Through formalized SAC meetings at the parent resource center, parents can volunteer with the school and participate in program planning. These SAC meetings cover topics such as how to involve more positive male role models to students, the creation of a school uniform closet/store, and planning family events at the school. While the program is still in its infancy, Merritt and Webb report that it’s nice “to see how much parents really do want to become involved with the success of their child’s education when given the proper tools!” This parent resource center is a great way to get the community involved in the lives of students and to make sure they have the five basics needed to succeed in school.