Harper WoodsJuly 1, 2013
Schools team up with group to help support parents
By April Lehmbeck
C & G Staff Writer
HARPER WOODS — Superintendent Todd Biederwolf said that the Harper Woods School District is full of parents who want to see their children succeed and want to assist in that goal.
For parents who want assistance with how best to support their children’s academic success, the district might just have what they’ve been looking for.
“Our parents already want their children to do well in school,” Biederwolf said. “No question, our parents want their kids to do well. Sometimes, they’re not sure how to help their students.”
The district is teaming up with the Detroit Parent Network for a new initiative that they’re kicking off this week that will provide support for parents and show how the community, from local merchants to neighbors, can be a part of the success of the city’s youth.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to work with the current parent leaders that we have in place,” said Yolanda Eddins, with the Detroit Parent Network, adding that they want to bring in more parents in leadership and volunteer roles, as well as the community.
“It really does take everybody for students to be successful in school,” Eddins said.
The district is using grant funding to pay for the new initiative, which will include activities, resources and information. Through work with the United Way, school district officials heard about the work the Detroit Parent Network is doing in some other districts.
They reached out to bring them into Harper Woods. Eddins said there are many people in the district whose children may already be grown up, but they have talents they can bring and ways to support parents of young people.
They’ll be working on some activities starting this summer so that parents can help their children gear up for the new year and continue their learning over the summer.
They are working together to plan the activities and outreach.
After initiating the program this summer, they’ll continue with more activities and resources in the fall.
One of the programs they are working on is a Parent University. Parents can learn how to support their students in a number of ways that touch on academics, social issues and motivating students in their goals.
They also plan to reach out to parents of children who live in the district to let them know about the positive things that the district has to offer their children, and to let them know that there is a place for them in the district.
“We’ll also be doing door-to-door outreach,” Eddins said.