Last updated: October 08. 2013 7:51PM - 806 Views
Charlene Hoeflich choeflich@civitasmedia.com

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POMEROY — The Meigs Local School District is introducing this year a new program called “Parenting Partners” to the Primary and Intermediate Schools, geared to improving children’s academic achievement, character development, and social interaction.

The first of eight workshops is scheduled to be held on Oct. 15 at the Meigs Elementary School.

Introducing the new program will be Brenda Phalin, a Meigs primary and intermediate school counselor, and Shawn Weaver, a social worker, both new employees this year in the Meigs Local School District. The program is partially funded by a Federal 21st Century Grant.

Parenting Partners is geared to get parents on board so that they become contributors to their children’s academic success. The goal of the Parent Partners workshops is to help parents learn how to combine parenting and leadership skills and how to create a strong home learning environment which, in turn, will support the efforts of the classroom teacher. One emphasis of the new program is to assist students in improving reading skills.

It was noted in the recent Kindergarten KRA-L assessment that 34 of the 160 students in kindergarten at Meigs are “not on track” and need to be placed in a reading improvement program as mandated by the Third Grade Guarantee.

As for the first and second grades it was reported that students were placed in “guided reading groups working with classroom teachers, Title 1 and intervention staff to get the individual assessments of the Ohio Diagnostic complete on each student.” Heather Wolfe of the Educational Service Center assisted in the work of completing the reading improvement plans for all students, the results of which have not been released.

As a part of the steps toward improving students’ scores the Meigs Primary and Intermediate schools joined with the Parenting Partners Program to host leadership the workshops which are titled Meigs Intermediate Schools Team (MELT.)

These workshops, according to Phalin are for parents interested in improving their children’s academic achievement, character development, and social interaction. She noted that the process appeals to parents because it builds parenting skills and engages parents in positive leadership. The workshops are facilitated by the school’s

counseling team and teaching staff but rely heavily on parent participation in order to be successful, she said.

She described the sessions as being hosted in an informal and friendly atmosphere, planned for once a week for a period of eight weeks with each session lasting approximately 90 minutes. The discussions, she said, are interactive with staff and parents, and draw from the strengths of each parent.

“We need the support of our parents to discover how each of us has dealt with difficult issues and to learn effective methods for leading our children in the right direction. Parent involvement is vital to the success of this program and ultimately the future of our kids,” Phalin said. The workshops are available to all of the Meigs Primary School and Intermediate School parents. Daycare and refreshments will be available.

It was noted that seating is limited. Parents can reserve a seat by calling Rus Fields and Julie Mayer at 742-2666, or Brenda Phalin and Shawn Weaver at 742-3000 or Kim Wolfe and Emily Hill at 742-2408.

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