We have been working on this for 5 years!

ST. PETERSBURG — For more than five years, the Parent Support For Education Council, Inc. (PSFEC) has solicited community buy-ins, support and active participation with issues related to the five elementary schools the Tampa Bay Times termed “Failure Factories.” These five elementary schools: Maximo, Lakewood, Campbell Park, Melrose and Fairmount Park were identified by the Florida Department of Education in 2014, four years after PSFEC.

Since last November, PSFEC has hosted “Community Vineyard” on WRXB’s “Undignified Praise and Worship” show each Thursday morning from 11 to noon. In that hour they focus on getting the church and community involved in working with the schools to increase parent and family engagement by 100 percent.

Apostle Ellis Hodge, pastor of Word of Life Fellowship wrote the following article:

The benefit of increasing parent and family engagement by 100%

The family is the backbone of any society; it is also the starting point for developing children to be effective in a community. Our family unit is under great satanic attack, and has been eroded and down played so much so that it would almost lead one to believe that it is obsolete. But I want to set the record straight that the family unit is alive and well even in the mist of this crooked and perverse generation we are living in.

Increasing parent and family engagement in the five struggling schools would turn each of these schools around. First there must be training on how to effectively parent children; parental skills are not automatic, they must be taught. Since the family unit is under such attack, the training has been lost.

Properly trained mothers and fathers would know that they must be actively involved in their child’s education. They would also know and demand discipline and respect from their children. A disciplined child in the classroom means that learning will take place. Learning cannot take place where there is no discipline.

Properly trained parents will train their children to be respectful of all authority because they understand that in order to get respect you must first render respect and not only to parents but to all those that are in authority, which means that children should be taught to respect their teacher because he or she is the authority in the class.

This type of relationship would give the educator the environment they need to introduce structure and order in the classroom so that learning can take place. This process has to start in the early stages of growth; it must not be put off until the child gets older. We must take the responsibility of our children being raised by the teacher and put it back in the hands of the family, which is where it needs and is supposed to be.

We often talk about how “back in the day” teachers were able to teach us and get us to do what they wanted. The reason that worked was because of our parents. Whether married our single, they were involved in our education, as well as our grandparents. You see back then our family unit was anchored into facts that worked: God and education.

The pastor/teacher today has the awesome task of taking the word of God and using it to bring us back to strong and discipline families, and we will start to see the failing schools turn around.

However, this will not happen overnight because it did not get to where it is overnight, but with God all things are possible, “ALL THINGS!”

With proper instructions by the church teaching and training parents how to be involved in the new education process, how to meet and have interaction with school officials, attend PTA and volunteer in their child’s school, after sometime change will come.  Being constant and consistent is the key.

Pastor Rainey is a Community Outreach Pastor and (former) Pastor of Faith Memorial MB Church, Co-Chairman Circuit 6 Faith & Community Network Steering Committee.  Also Pastor Rainey serves as President of the Parent Support For Education Council, Inc., and is the (former) Chairman, JWB South County Community Council, and may be contacted via education.comm@gmail.com – Cell: 727-420-1326

The Parent Council meets every third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m., Melrose Elementary School (Library) 1752 13th Ave. S, St. Petersburg, The community is welcome!!

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