Another important component of the Family Resource Center Coordinator responsibilities are coordinating family education workshops. These workshops are intended to assist families in a supportive, non-judgmental environment, in dealing with a multitude of family issues. These workshops are done in collaboration with EPIC, the PTA, the School Social Worker, and/or School Psychologist. The Family Resource Center Coordinator have held workshops covering the following topics, "Helping Your Child Succeed In School", "Communicating with the Teacher", "Literacy", "Positive Discipline, just to name a few.
The workshops are always met with a positive response from the parents. These workshops are confidential and the parents are able to speak freely. These workshops give the Family Resource Center Coordinator the opportunity to respond to the needs of a parent, who may struggle to share, the same, information with the Family Resource Center Coordinator. These workshops have also been a benefit to the teaching staff. Administrators who have attended the workshops have shared, only, the handouts with staff. These handouts have assisted the staff in understanding concerns/issues of their parents.
"It feels good knowing I'm not the only parent facing issues with their children."
Hillcrest Intermediate Parent
Our Grandview and Fleetwood Coordinators made great strides reaching out to our immigrant community by implementing Adult ESL in the district. Our intentions were to provide classes in the evening for immigrant families that would combine learning English, parenting techniques, and everyday skills that benefit both parents and children. We held discussions with community organizations such as H.A.C.S.O., Konbit Neg LaKay, HABLA, The Learning Center, B.O.C.E.S, East Ramapo staff and parents to plan the curriculum. These meetings underlined the need for childcare to accompany our classes. We also realized how important it was to incorporate learning about the East Ramapo Central School District into the curriculum. We offered question and answer sessions with the School Psychologist, Social Worker, Department of Social Services Preventive Worker, and the Family Resource Coordinator.
B.O.C.E.S. sponsors the program while the Spring Valley Key Club and Rockland Girl Scouts volunteer their time to assist with childcare. Due to the demand and success of the program, Fleetwood offers the classes year round every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
One parent described why it met her need: "Estoy muy contento con el programa porque necesito aprender a escribir y hablar inglės. Ahora que estamos en este programa, tengo tiempo para aprender lo que quiero. Quisiėra seguir como estamos porque aprendo y les ensėo a mis hijos a mejorar su educacion. Gracias."
"I'm really happy with the program because I need to learn how to write and speak English and now that we are in this program, I have the time to learn what I want. It is why I would continue so I can learn and teach my children, so they can have a better education. Thank You."Family Events
Family involvement is a key focus for the Family Resource Coordinator when planning family events. We know the benefits associated with family involvement in the school include positive social interactions, increased quality time with families in addition to the many learning opportunities they can provide. Examples of typical events run by the FRC are Reading, Math, Sports, International, Art, and Game Nights. One such event, Express Yourself! Family Portrait Night offered families the opportunity to take family portraits and create their own picture frames. This opportunity brought out the creativity in all with many families requesting similar nights in the future.
" Family Art Night was very fun spending time with my family."
"I loved the photo workshop. It was a fun family activity."
"This is definitely an incentive to come out on a school night."
"Reading Night is a great way to encourage a daily ritual. We enjoyed the story and the teachers are very enthusiastic. Thanks for teaching us that reading is fun!"
"What a great idea! When are you going to have another family night? It was fun seeing the teachers."
Summit Park Parent"Early Childhood
All Family Resource Coordinators currently hold parent child playgroups weekly. We provide activities that will enhance early learning skills that will ease their transition into Kindergarten. We develop these skills through literacy, social, fine, and gross motor experiences utilizing the school library, gym, and playground. The playgroups offer these experiences to both public and non-public families.
In addition to the playgroups, we assist in their transition from nursery / Pre k to kindergarten. The Family Resource Coordinators partake in all aspects of registration and orientation. We also provide families with referrals to k-club and other childcare services. This early childhood component offers families many opportunities to participate in the school setting prior to their child's admission into Kindergarten creating an easier transition for both the family and school.
"My daughter loves coming to the playgroups. She was more upset about missing the playgroups than being home sick."
Summit Park Parent
The roll of the Family Resource Coordinator in the intermediate schools is still evolving. Parent involvement tends to drop off when children enter this grade level. Our goal is to offer them opportunities and programs to keep them interested in continued participation. Programs that help parent's transition from elementary school to the intermediate level and again from the intermediate to secondary are very important. Programs such as parenting workshops and family nights are now being offered through the Family Resource Center. One such event, Lime Kiln Elementary School Back to School BBQ, offered a unique back to school celebration with a twist. More than 350 families at Lime Kiln Elementary had one more reason to attend their Back to School. They had the opportunity to receive information from various community agencies as well as school personnel while they enjoyed a BBQ dinner.
The evening included booths and presentations from community agencies such as Town of Ramapo Parks and Recreation, Affinity Health Plan, EPIC, Mad Science, Community Action Program, DARE, Finkelstein Memorial Library, Spring Valley Youth Bureau, Girl Scouts of Rockland, Lime Kiln PTA, and Lime Kiln Family Resource Center. Families met in the cafeteria for a BBQ and to meet with community representatives. Then parents met the staff, PTA and had an opportunity to visit with their child's teacher while students participated in a Mad Science assembly."