Research often shows that learning does not begin and end in the classroom. Parent involvement is extremely important to early literacy and future academic achievement.
“PARP stands for Parents As Reading Partners,” said Raina Silver, Chairperson of PARP. At Coman Hill, the entire school read the same book that was chosen by the PTSA in collaboration with Principal, Mrs. MaryBeth Crupi. Parent volunteers visited each classroom to read the book, facilitated a guided discussion, and conducted activities planned around the theme of the book. “The goal was to choose a book that aligned with age-appropriate, school-wide objectives,” Mrs. Silver said.
This year the book was The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill. “It tackled the issue of bullying and friendship while providing a positive lesson of choosing kindness. This book helped our students learn about regulating emotions and the basic act of being kind to one another,” Mrs. Crupi said. It also reinforced Coman Hill initiatives like Kelso’s Choice, The Buddy Bench, and the District-wide goal for emotional wellness.
Students listened intently as PTSA parent volunteers from each class read the book in their child’s classroom. During discussion time, every grade had something to offer and students participated eagerly in all of the activities. For example, Kindergarten, students were asked to draw their favorite character from the story by using their imagination.
“This year’s topic focused on friendship and how to be a good friend. I think PARP was a good way for parents to have that dialogue with their children,” said Mrs. Silver.
The students were buzzing with enthusiasm as they spoke of the book and its important themes. “The children absolutely loved PARP,” said Mrs. Crupi. “This is just one example of how the PTSA helps support us academically, emotionally, and socially. We are so grateful for their assistance in creating the home/school relationship for the betterment of our children.”