Ann Bane Director of Community
& Legislative Relations
Community and Legislative Relations
The mission of the Office of Community and Legislative Relations is to fully engage the community of Hampton with Hampton City Schools, providing opportunities for community input, ownership and support. Particular emphasis is placed upon outreach to external stakeholders; business, military, faith, higher education, civic and social organizations, as well as governmental bodies. Likewise, attention is focused upon the school division’s internal stakeholders; faculty, staff, students and families. The development of effective mechanisms for community partnerships and communication with all stakeholders supports the overall mission of Hampton City Schools – In collaboration with our community, Hampton City Schools ensures academic excellence for every child, every day, whatever it takes..
What if you could help your child enjoy school more, get better grades, and reduce behavior problems at the same time? Reams of research has shown that regardless of parents’ income and educational background, their involvement in education helps their kids do better in and out of school.
Parent involvement can be as simple as helping with homework or reading a book together at bedtime. Going to parent-teacher conferences is important, but taking the family to school sponsored events make a difference, too. More involvement is better, but you don’t have to be president of the PTA or run the school carnival. As long as your actions show that you value education, your child is likely to respond. Here are just a few of the reasons you should get involved in your child’s education:
Higher grades. Kids whose parents are involved in their education get better grades and have higher test scores. And the more parents are involved, the more their children seem to benefit. A study of parents highly involved in the educational process showed that their children were more likely to improve in reading and math.
Better behavior. Kids develop better social skills and show improved behavior when their parents are involved at school. Studies have also shown that kids are less likely to skip school, less disruptive in class, and more likely to do their homework when their parents are involved. One study showed that when dads are highly involved in schools, their children enjoy school more and are less likely to be suspended, expelled, or required to repeat a grade.
Improved education. Research shows that parent involvement can help improve the quality of schools, raise teacher morale, and improve a school’s reputation in the community. Involved parents gain the respect of teachers; as a result, teachers have higher expectations of their children. Involvement pays off in the long term, too: Children stay in school longer and are more likely to continue their education after high school.
Increased confidence. When students feel supported at home and school, they develop more positive attitudes about school, have more self-confidence, and place a higher priority on academic achievement. Children of involved parents are more likely to feel that they’re accepted, included, and respected and at school.
Parents benefit, too. When parents become involved in their children’s education, they become more comfortable in the school building, gain confidence in their parenting skills, and feel more capable of helping their children learn. They’re also more likely to continue their own education.
Involvement is easy. You don’t have to log hundreds of volunteer hours for your child to benefit. Even if you can only volunteer a few hours a year, every little bit counts. If you’re ready to do more, your school’s parent-teacher group can help you find ways to get involved that fit both your schedule and your interests.
TOP TEN THINGS TO DO
WITH YOUR CHILD IN HAMPTON
There is so much you can do TOGETHER in Hampton on Parental Involvement Day and every other day of the year! Most of these are inexpensive or even free, and they are all things you can do TOGETHER.
1. VISIT A LOCAL PARK OR BEACH (Buckroe, Grandview, Sandy Bottom, Blue Bird Gap, Gosnold, Downtown Waterfront, etc.). Collect shells. Bring a picnic lunch. Swim or skim board. Toss a frisbee. Go to summer concerts and movies. Find details here.
2. VISIT A LOCAL ATTRACTION OR MUSEUM (Virginia Air and Space Center, Air Power Park, Casemate, Blue Skies, Hampton History Museum, Charles Taylor Arts Center, etc.). It's all right in your backyard!
3. PLAN A FAMILY ACTIVITY NIGHT (game night, family dinner, listen to/play music, go star gazing). Encourage kids to come up with their own ideas. These can be fun and easy to plan.
4. PROMOTE FAMILY FITNESS TOGETHER (take a walk, ride bikes, visit the YMCA, hit a bucket of golf balls, fly a kite, rollerblade). Get out and get moving - try something your kids like to do! See what's happening at the Boo Williams Sports Complex and the community activity centers.
5. PARTICIPATE IN SCHOOL ACTIVITIES (PTA, reading to kids at school, book fair, field day, dances, fine arts performances). School PTAs, teachers, and clubs need help, and you'll have as much fun as the kids.
6. ATTEND LOCAL SPORTING EVENTS (football, soccer, Pilots, school teams). There are great school and city league teams. There are also leagues through the YMCA and a variety of events at community centers.
7. PROMOTE READING IN YOUR CHILDREN (go to the library or local book stores, read a book or newspaper together and discuss what you read). Kids of all ages benefit when we read to them and with them. Enhance reading by discussing what you read. Encourage children to select their favorite book for you to read.
8. EXPLORE YOUR COMMUNITY (visit Ft. Monroe or Langley AFB, take public transportation, explore somewhere you don't usually go). There are things to do and places to see that might surprise you - broaden your horizons!
9. PLAN A FAMILY PROJECT (plant a tree or flowers, paint or redecorate a room, spruce up the yard, etc.) Plant something and watch it grow - it will bring years of enjoyment. Work on a recycle or energy savings plan for your family. Organize your hurricane or storm "survival" supplies and evacuation plan. Balance family spending.
CREATE YOUR OWN FAMILY TRADITION AND LET THAT BE #10?