Carver Middle School initiates Parent University, begins with Internet Safety

By Christy Breedlove

Malcolm X once said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”  In short, learning doesn’t stop when you’re handed your diploma or degree.  Indeed, education continues even when you don’t anticipate a test on the horizon.

In cooperation with the Walton County Public School system, Carver Middle School has initiated a ‘Parent University’ to aid parents to acquire the knowledge and skills for raising children in these turbulent times.  Every month features a new subject from “Being a Tech Savvy Carver Parent” to “Bullying to “Internet Safety”.  These free monthly seminars are open to the public.  Childcare and dinner will be provided.

Parent University Coordinator and 8th grade ELA teacher leader, Kristin Fanning sees this opportunity to improve family life both now and in the future.  “Any time Carver can partner with parents is a chance to improve children’s lives for the better.  When a parent has the proper tools to succeed, our students will see that and hopefully apply that drive to their own school work.”

CMS Principal Alan Satterfield concurs.  “Our faculty and staff can improve students’ scores here but it is actually parents, guardians and mentors who have the most impact on our children’s lives.”

Although new to Carver, this collaborative project is several years old and has its roots in the belief that an educated and supportive parent is the strongest indicator for a child succeeding in school.  The National Center for Education Statistics conducted a study in 2001 and published its findings.  Parental involvement improves student self-esteem, positive attitudes toward learning, and academic achievement across all subject areas as well as strengthening the local community. From these conclusions, the concept of an ongoing parental education seminars evolved and spread across the country.

“Last spring, the planning committee sent out a survey to all stakeholders including parents and CMS staff.  It asked what subjects needed to be covered, the date and time and more.”  Fanning said.  “From that, we compiled a shortlist of topics and began the process of securing instructors.”

The first class, Being a Tech Savvy Carver Parent, is on September 21 at 5:00 p.m.  October’s subject is Internet Safety taught by a Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer.  All classes, for now, will be held at the newly renovated Carver Middle School.  For more information, please call CMS at 770-207-3333.

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