Five Schoolwide Parental Involvement Activities that will Hook Them In

Looking for schoolwide parental involvement ideas? Check out this post for five ideas that will be a hit with all of your families.

Every year, schools work to build partnerships with parents because research shows that children are much more successful when parents are involved. Parental involvement has always been an interest of mine, and today, I'd like to share a collection of parental involvement ideas that my schools have enjoyed.

NIGHT FOR FAMILY LITERACY (NFL)

Night for Family Literacy brings in the excitement children feel about football in the fall. This event has been very popular with our school. We includes a tailgate dinner, pickup football games, and literacy fun by the campfire.
Kick off your school year with an NFL night. Wear your favorite team jersey, invite your local football team in as readers to spark interest, and host a tailgate prior to your program. You might have the football team return for pickup games on your playground or play music in the background. Make the program fun by bringing in a magician, musical group, or better yet, an author. When you line up your program, make sure you express that the goal of the program is to promote reading at home. When families come into the program, it's a great time to hand out a brochure or take home packet with ways parents can support their kids. You can also hand out tickets for door prize drawings. 

We hosted this event for 3-4 years because it was so popular with our parents and kids. It wasn't a cheap event, but it was well attended because food was provided, kids were fired up about it, and because we do it during football season at the beginning of the year. 

WE 💗 LITERACY MONTH

This FREE RESOURCE featuring "conversation hearts" about what kids are reading are sure to spark motivation about popular books in your school. Use them in February or any time of year for that matter! Check out this post for parental involvement ideas.
Last year, we tried something new. At the begining of February, we dedicated it We 💗 Literacy Month. We had a brief assembly and explained all that was planned. First, we did a one month reading incentive. With it, we encouraged all students to share their opinions on any book they read during the month using the special forms to the right. The forms were tailored to each grade level preK-5, and they were strung through the hallway like Christmas Lights. It worked really well because it provided a chance for the children to see what books others were reading. Kids want to read what other kids are reading. Every completed review was an entry into a drawing for a collection of books, and a gift bag including 10 books per grade level was we given away at our Read Across America Assembly held at the end of the month. 

Kids love s'mores, and parents do too. Check out how this Read, Read, and Read S'more Night was run. It was so much fun for teachers and families.
Around the 20th of February, we brought our families in for Read, Read, and Read S'More Night. You can probably guess what we offered as a treat at the end! So, at this event, we decorated our rooms like a campout. Teachers projected crackling fires on their smartboards, brought in lawn chairs and built fake campfires on their rugs, and shared their favorite picture book of all time in storytime fashion. Parents traveled from class to class to hear the books they liked, and for this event, we did door prize tickets. Each teacher read his/her book three times, and at the end of each session, he/she drew a ticket out of the basket and gave away a copy of the book for the children's at home libraries. After the last session, all families were brought in for hot chocolate and S'mores. We had just under 400 people come, and it took me two days to make the s'mores. You can follow THIS RECIPE if your school would like to give this a try.

POETRY JAM

Looking for schoolwide parental involvement ideas? Check out this post for five ideas that will be a hit with all of your families.
The next idea is one I have been dying to do. I love teaching and working with poetry, and I know many of you do too. So, how about an evening where you transform your school into a coffee house. Let children share poetry they've written orally in their classrooms and let parents roam and listen. You might invite a poetry author come and speak. You can display poems that your students have written and explore haiku, cinquain, diamante, free verse, limericks, and rhyming poems. I think it'd be so much fun for kids and parents. 

GAME NIGHT

This post includes parental involvement activities with reference to a post about using games in the classroom to support reading instruction.
One very easy parental involvement activity you might try is a game night. Pull out all your favorite word building games and put them in one classroom. In another classroom, you might do a make and take where families can make gameboards for use at home. How about Bingo for Books??  You could also include musical chairs for the same purpose, and finally, you can bring in tech with your computer lab by demonstrating how games can support literacy. The post to the left includes classroom games for literacy if you need ideas. 

FAMILY MATH AND LITERACY NIGHT

At my previous school, we hosted Family Math, Science and Literacy Night. For this night, we set up two "tracks". One half of our attendees started in the multipurpose room, and one half started in the halls. We set up stations with math activities for estimation, probability, addition, subtraction, fractions, and multiplication; science activities for matter, rocks and minerals, plants, and chemistry; and finally, we had tied in literacy for all with books, poetry, word games, and these types of things. After two rotations, everyone returns to the multipurpose room for door prizes. The school has hosted this activity for nearly 20 years, and the school is always overflowing.

Parental involvement is really important, and schoolwide events help parents, children, and staff build partnerships in a fun way. Learning is fun, and learning doesn't just happen at school. Using your schoolwide events to help parents learn ways they can help their kids at home makes a huge difference in children's success at school.

OTHER PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT POSTS

FIVE THINGS PARENTS CAN DO TO SUPPORT LITERACY LEARNING AT HOME

PARENT INVOLVEMENT MATTERS

WHY YOU NEED PARENTS AS YOUR PARTNERS



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