This spring St. Stephen’s hosted a four part parent workshop to engage parents around topics that many of them highlighted as areas of concern. We are continuously looking for ways to support the families of our fantastic young people and the four part workshop series was the perfect way to gather parents together and to give them information they had requested. We hosted four workshops on Wednesday nights from 6-7:30 PM, with dinner and child care provided.
April 18th Boston City Councillor John Connolly listened to parents experiences with the BPS lottery process and school choice system. We had a number of SSYP parents, Teen staff and members of the community that came and shared their experience with the BPS lottery system.
April 25th Chef Barbara Lynch was the guest speaker at the second parent workshop, which was all about nutrition. We had a fantastic meal provided by local demonstration kitchen Stir, and wonderful guest speakers from the Barbara Lynch Group. Parents enjoyed a discussion and a question & answer session with Boston Medical Center nutritionist Kathy Truscott! We also created a bookshelf in the learning center dedicated to cookbooks!
May 9th Generations Incorporated shared tips on ways to encourage young children to read and ways to keep older children engaged. We learned that for young kids, learning how to read well is the key to academic success and a love for life- long learning. Parents also shared their tried and true tips with each other!
May 23rd The Harvard Family Research Project shared about the importance of out of school learning opportunities and continued learning over the summer. We talked about ways to combat the “summer slide.” We all brain stormed the potential conflicts they could have with keeping their kids actively learning over the summer—they ranged from time, to lack of resources, to disinterest on the parts of the young people. After this process we spent the rest of the meeting thinking very creatively about ways to work around these potential conflicts. The ideas were so inspiring; a favorite was starting a book club for young people and putting on a play of each book read!
The topics came out of a number of meetings and home visits our site directors, lead counselors and staff did with parents, teachers and school administrations. We had an average of 12 people at each meeting with a record turn-out of 25 people! We are excited to build on the momentum and enthusiasm of this series!
Posted by Meg McDermott, Blackstone Partnership Community Organizer