Parents Reaching Out Grants

Michael J. Brennan Separate School – St. Catharines

Niagara Catholic District School Board
Family Math Evening

Parents Reaching Out grants help parents to identify barriers to parent engagement in their own community, and find local solutions to get more parents involved. Parents who are involved in their children's education help to support their children's achievement and well-being.

This video is part of a series that features successful parent engagement projects funded through the Ministry of Education's Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grants.

Transcript<a href="/eng/parents/stCatharinesBrennan.html#Trans" title="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/stCatharinesBrennan.html#Trans" style="display:none;">Transcript</a>

Mobile

Transcript

Bob Grand [Principal, Michael J. Brennan Separate School]:

We ran a family math evening here at our school, we involved the parents and the children in math activities that were led by our teaching staff, it was a very successful evening. As educators we know that when parents as our partners are actively engaged in their children's education at school the more likely it is that their child will be successful in school. The focus for our family event was family math. When I talked to the parents that came up as an area that they felt that they needed more information on how to help their child. It matched one of our smart goals for the school for the year which was to improve the children's problem solving capabilities in mathematics, so it worked hand in hand with what we are already doing as a school. The teachers came in and they each ran a station of mathematics showing parents how mathematics is taught in that grade and how they could help out their child in that grade. It was a great evening it was very successful we had well over half of the school population, parent population came that night with their children and the parents and the children could sit down with the teachers, meet the teachers and try out some math activities together. It was a fun evening for everybody involved.

Jennifer Kennedy [Parent and Volunteer]:

Oh! it was really good the kids were really excited and it provided a great opportunity for the families to come in and share math experiences with their children in their classes with their teachers as well. And by interjecting fun games into math the kids didn't really mind doing the math at all, it was a good time.

Bob Grand [Principal, Michael J. Brennan Separate School]:

The outcomes that we wanted from the evening was number one, to familiarize parents with how mathematics is taught in today's classroom and how they can help their child in mathematics. So going beyond working with the text book how could they help with their child when their child came home with everyday mathematics in their own lives. The second objective for the evening was to have parents feel comfortable coming in and meeting the teachers, opening up the lines of communication with them because we know that the more that a parent is familiar with the teacher and is in contact and communicating with the teacher, the more likely it is that their child will be successful in that classroom.

Jennifer Kennedy [Parent and Volunteer]:

I think anytime that you are able to show the family as a whole and interacting together in a social environment in the school system it's really beneficial for everyone.

Bob Grand [Principal, Michael J. Brennan Separate School]:

What I noticed as the principal of the school is that the parents, the same parents who came out that evening for the family math night is that we opened up lines of communication with them, they have been more comfortable now with coming to school whether it be for school council meetings, for school activities, for assemblies, for curriculum nights. We have a big increase in the amount of parents that are coming to the school for school events. The second outcome from it would be that parents are telling me that they now feel more comfortable with how they can help out their child in school because that evening we provided the specific ways that they could help out their child with mathematics, we gave them some resources and from a teacher parent point of view they met their child's teacher and they opened up that line of communication as well to find out how they could help out their child.

Jennifer Kennedy [Parent and Volunteer]:

I really think this is going to help children with their math because it's a good introduction to new concepts while their parents are experiencing the fun and excitement of the night as well as sharing a social aspect with math so I think it's really good.

Bob Grand [Principal, Michael J. Brennan Separate School]:

We also gave each family as they left a math activity or game that they could take with them so that they could follow through at home that they could do some math card games or some math activities with games that are readily available through different stores. Yes I have seen that since the time that we had that event we've had more parents coming out to be involved in school activities here at Michael J. Brennan School. So I think by making that initial thrust of providing an event like this, so its family friendly, involved the staff and the parents and the children that we made a lot of connections that night and although some of those same parents I am now seeing coming out and helping with one of our lunch reading programs with an after school program. Coming out we always invite parents to come to our school assemblies and I am seeing more parents from that night coming out and being part of school life.

To learn more visit: www.ontario.ca/EDUparents