SEATTLE: Students win when families and schools work together, but not all parents engage equally. So Community & Parents for Public Schools of Seattle is bringing an acclaimed program to the city that strengthens ties to public schools by recruiting, placing and mentoring volunteers who might not otherwise participate.
For more than two decades, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association has pulled off what so many struggle with – meaningful connections across culture and language that result in tangible benefits:
- Better student outcomes
- Better school climate
- Better teacher connections to the culture of the community
- And for the parents, a chance to learn and hone new skills
Together, parents and teachers give students more support – more eyes and ears; more time; more role models. Volunteer mentorship also builds trust, and appreciation for diversity.
“I believe volunteer mentorship is a key stepping stone to engaging the full range of Seattle Public School parents,” says Stephanie Alter Jones, Ph.D., CPPS of Seattle’s executive director. “It will help parents understand that they are welcome and important in the academic lives of their schools.”
Through our new Seattle Volunteer Mentorship Program CPPS of Seattle will:
- Recruit, place and mentor cohorts of 8-10 parent volunteers in two Seattle public schools.
- Offer supported classroom volunteer experiences for the cohorts
- Provide additional leadership training and workshop opportunities for the cohorts throughout the year.
Thanks to funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Satterberg Foundation, we are sending three CPPS of Seattle representatives to Chicago for onsite training; one of them will be taking the Spanish track. We are also purchasing curriculum and a year of support from the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and we will be able to devote staff hours to supporting the mentorship program and volunteers.
- Information on the Logan Square Neighborhood Association Parent Mentor Program
- Information on the Logan Square Neighborhood Association Parent Engagement Institute
Did you know?
Parent and community ties are essential to school transformation. Of 200 schools studied for seven years, those with strong parent involvement were 10 times more likely to improve in math and four times more likely to improve in reading than schools weak on engagement. That’s more than any of the other necessary supports identified, including school leadership, professional capacity of staff, learning climate and instructional guidance. You can read more about how CPPS of Seattle’s work supports the five essential supports for school transformation here.