Increasing parental engagement by 100%

Phil Garrett, Community Advocate

The Rainey’s Bulletin for the past several weeks has been requesting community perspectives on increasing parental engagement. We are pleased to share another article submitted by a local community advocate who is married and is the father of three children.

How can we increase parental engagement in the struggling schools of south St. Pete by 100 percent?

Parental engagement in a child’s education is paramount to the successes of the child as well as a community. Parental engagement is important because it helps increase active participation between parents, schools and communities. This process is a healthy method that makes the child’s educational process and experience whole.

I would like to open a series of discussions for all those interested throughout the community of the “powers” of parental engagement, and solutions that would increase parental participation in our children’s education.

I can give you many reasons why a parent engaged equals a child learning, but I’ll give you one. The parent is the true and original love source. If the parent can provide love for their child at home and show care and concern during a child’s education process, the love source transfers from home love to school love.

Some studies have shown that encouraging a child’s development and progress in school includes: maintaining a warm and supportive home, showing interest in your child’s progress at school, helping with homework, discussing the value of a good education and career options as well as staying in touch with teachers and school staff, are all impactful means of parental engagement.

According to the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Family and Community Outreach, when parents talk to their children about school, expect them to do well, help them plan for college or a career, and make sure that out-of-school activities are constructive so that their children tend to do well in school and in life.

These studies and my experience as a parent leave me to understand that the basic foundation of any progress in our children’s educational success begins with the parent and their desire for a better future for their child.

There are many ways and reasons why a parent engaged equals a child learning and we must support these reasons with tangible community leadership and long lasting solutions.

Next week I would like to discuss the fathers and mothers separate roles in supporting their child’s educational successes as well as the community’s role.

Phil Garrett, Community Advocate

Pastor Rainey

Pastor Rainey

Pastor Rainey serves as Community Outreach Pastor for the Faith Memorial MB Church, Rev. Dr. Bragg L. Turner, Senior Pastor.  He also serves as president of the Parent Support For Education Council, Inc., and chairman of JWB South County Community Council. He may be contacted: or (727) 420-1326.

The Parent Council meets every third Thursday of each month @ 6:30 p.m., Faith Memorial Missionary Baptist 1800 18th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, at the (Resource Center), to the far right and adjacent to the Church. The community is welcome.

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