Marines set the standard for professionalism, courtesy, respect, discipline and integrity. We are trailblazers, decision-makers, and war fighters. Together we bear the weight of the nation on our shoulders. But on a smaller scale, we are equally responsible on the home front to help mold the next generation of great Americans.
Active-duty service members with children must master the art of juggling their military obligations and parental responsibilities daily. But whether we have children of our own or not, we are role models. A few hours of our time can make a huge difference in the lives of students across the country.
“For a school to be successful, the community has to have a role,” said Royston Lyttle, assistant principal, Eagle Academy Public Charter School in Washington. “Research shows, students learn more when the community is involved.”
According to Citizen Schools, 2.2 million students attend failing schools across the nation, and more than 1 million fail to graduate high school on time.
We can make a difference
By receiving a positive adult connection in their school, students achieve higher grades, test scores and graduation rates than their counterparts who do not. They are also motivated, have higher self-esteem and positive attitudes.
Research suggests that active parental involvement is the key to improving schools. Unfortunately, many parents cannot be as involved as they would like too. And this is where we can fill that void and stress the importance of education to our youth.
What if I don’t have children?
- Be a teacher’s aide for a day
- Coach a sports team
- Mentor a student
- Read a book to a classroom
- Supervise or judge a science fair
- Join the local Big Brothers, Big Sisters program
Recommendations for Parents
When parents are actively involved in their child’s education, it sends the message that school and home are connected and that education is important.
“Parent participation is the ingredient that makes a difference,” said LaKia Locket, social worker at Eagle Academy PCS. “Children with involved parents have great attendance, they do better academically from head start through high school, and they tend to behave better and go farther in school.”
Build a Bridge
- Two-way communication between parents and school is paramount. Parent-teacher collaboration benefits the entire class as you model behavior.
- Join the parent-teacher organization, serve lunch, volunteer to help at the school library or your child’s class for a day, or send extra supplies to their class, if necessary.
- Read to your child(ren) every night and make sure he or she can explain the concept of the story. Also, check homework daily.
- Keep an eye out for class newsletters and use what you see being taught in class to emphasize at home.