In the parent room at Burke Elementary, CPS parents learn how to support their children’s education while also improving the quality of their own lives.
Part of Burke’s Child-Parent Center (CPC), this ordinary classroom has been transformed into a kitchen, living room and library where parents can participate in everything from GED and cooking classes to career training and fitness programs. Originally located at the former Overton Elementary, this CPC was rededicated this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Burke.
“We support our students by looking at their families in a holistic way,” said Iysha Jones, Head Teacher at the Burke CPC. “We want to help meet their needs by building a desire for learning and a sense of community.”
Serving students ages 3-5, the District’s 18 Child-Parent Centers fall under the umbrella of Early Childhood Education, their mission being to provide early intervention services and academic supports to children and families in targeted communities throughout the city. Participation in a CPC requires a significant adult commitment, with parents expected to volunteer in classroom and/or parent room activities at least twice a month.
“We ask our parents to spend 2.5 hours per week in their children’s classroom and encourage them to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them in the parent room,” said Jones.
These opportunities include classes in literacy, job readiness and parenting skills, as well as health, safety and nutrition information.
The opening of the CPC at Burke Elementary included renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner and Black National Anthem, a performance of “The Three Little Pigs” for the school’s Pre-K students, and a tour for parents and community members of the early childhood classrooms and CPC parent room. In addition to Jones, this CPC includes a Parent Resource Teacher to develop curriculum and a School Community Representative to drive participation and help meet the diverse needs of area families.