To further bolster their engagement with families, four neighborhood schools have joined together to host parent forums on issues that are critical to student success.
This week, parents from Clissold, Kellogg, Mount Greenwood and Sutherland elementary schools gathered for the first of these sessions – a conversation about the need to develop strong social skills in their children.
“The schools in our area work well together, so it seemed smart to collaborate and share resources,” said Kellogg principal Eileen Scanlan, who hosted the first parent session. “We’re excited about these conversations, because they have the potential to benefit a lot of parents in our community.”
These sessions tie directly into Pillar 3 of CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s 5-Year Action Plan, which calls for stronger engagement and empowerment among District families. Tuesday’s forum featured Faye de Muyshondt, author of Socialsklz: - ) for Success: How to Give Children the Tools to Thrive in the Modern World. The founder of Socialsklz, anationally-acclaimed program featuring modern-day social emotional workshops for children and adults, de Muyshondt believes strongly that social skills should be proactively taught, particularly given our nation’s love of electronics.
At Kellogg, de Muyshondt spoke primarily about her book, which Parent Magazine calls “a cutting edge, must-read manual for raising kids in the digital age”.
“As parents and educators, we often assume that kids have picked up social skills through their day-to-day interaction with others,” said de Muyshondt. “But social skills can be taught, and have been shown to build self-confidence, raise academic performance, increase overall health and decrease aggression among children.”
In addition to her time at Kellogg, de Muyshondt also appeared at Ogden, Saucedo and Sauganash elementary schools. Her presentations were well received by parents, who said they could relate to the challenges of raising children in the digital world.
“As great as technology is, many people are concerned that the amount of electronics in their world may be causing our children to lose their social skills,” said Principal Scanlan. “We need to remember how important these skills are for our childrens’ futures.”
For Kellogg and it’s neighboring schools, the discussion of social skills was the first of several parent forums planned for this year. The next session will be held at Mount Greenwood Elementary and will focus on issues of Internet safety.
“We need to teach our kids how to use the Internet in a way that is both helpful and healthy,” said Principal Scanlan. “We can’t lose sight of how what they do online affects them socially and emotionally, and we need to help them strike a balance between their Internet time and the other important aspects of their lives. Our parents appreciate the fact that their schools are working together on issues like this and are excited about this next session.”