CQ Wilder, M.ED October 30, 2014 As a manager of a family literacy events program at a school in D.C., I know first hand how hard it is to get parents to attend certain events. While at one campus, the parents are all committed to attend all things, other campuses are much harder to get 5 parents let alone just 1. Family events provide a number of great benefits, resources, ideas, and materials that can be used at home. Benefit 1: You might get a free book! I have thrown a number of events so far this school year. At each event, every family that participated received a free book. Families have received books about sign language, wordless-picture book, and the Read for the Record book Bunny Cakes. The purpose of providing books to families is to give the family opportunities to read at home and extend learning at home. Benefit 2: Enjoy some free food! Everyone of my school events has food. I either go to the stores and buy them myself or I order from a chain grocery store, have it delivered to my office, divide, and then have the principals pick them up when they have their bi-weekly meeting. There might not be a buffet stand but there are fun snacks and drinks that can be eaten! Benefit 3: Slightly-free daycare! While yes, you are still present for this event, the staff participating in the event will encourage you and your child to do some activities or just the child. I always include the parents but if the parent’s aren’t fully involved, I will hop in and support the child. I am encouraging you to participate if you are going to be at an event but if your not fully into it, at least your presence there will make your child feel even more loved. Benefit 4: Active participation at school! Nothing makes those who work in a school happier then seeing the parents involved at the school. It shows that you not only care about your child and what they are doing in school, but that you are taking time now investing in your child’s future and letting them know that it is important to participate in school. Families who attend events show that they aren’t too busy for their child’s future. I understand, not everyone’s schedule allows them to be free when they would want but if you have the option, please visit the schools. Benefit 5: Your child will know their parent’s care! The smiles on the faces of children who are able to show their parents their school is amazing! Nothing makes a child feel great then when they can show their parent their work from school, or their chair in the classroom, or their cubby, etc. Just taking a little time to walk around the school with your child creates a good culture that supports education and family life!