Angie Brown, parent and family engagement coordinator for Lakota Schools, says the first event of the district’s new Family & Parent CommUnity University is the start of a series of programs for school parents at Miami University’s Voice of America Learning Center. The Saturday morning event in West Chester Township provided information sessions for school parents interested in becoming more involved in their children’s schooling.

The large Lakota school system is trying to stay connected with parents in these new events

Lakota officials used the Miami Voice of America Learning Center campus to launch the district’s first “Family & Parent CommUnity University.”

The goal, said school officials, is to empower parents to better partner with teachers.

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Participants were offered informational breakout sessions on 20 topics designed to answer questions that parents and guardians may have about Southwest Ohio’s largest suburban district and detail the many resources available to them.

The free sessions included breakfast and overview presentations by top Lakota officials.

“It’s a new day in Lakota,” said Angie Brown, Lakota’s parent and family engagement coordinator.

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“When an educator and parent walk along side each other, you know the student will succeed. You can’t educate a child without the parent knowing what’s going on,” added Brown, the creator of the family and parent event, which will be repeated at the Miami branch campus monthly through April 2019.

“CommUnity University affords a unique opportunity for parents, schools, and community to become jointly involved in education by providing training and resources to families that are directly linked to students’ learning and will aid parents in their essential responsibility for influencing the lives of their children.”

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Matt Miller, superintendent of the 16,500-student school system, joined parents at the 8 a.m. opening of the event, which lasted until noon.

“It’s not just a one and done, it’s an all-the-time thing with the community,” said Miller, who since taking over Lakota last year has launched a series of parental outreach programs on social media and through community meetings.

Saturday’s event “is bringing in people we haven’t had a chance to talk and interact with, and we need to make those connections, so this is just the start of something like this. This will just get bigger and bigger once the word gets out.”

Lakota school parent Teresa Schleibaum appreciated Lakota’s new outreach programs to school families.

“This is a good thing for parents who want to be involved,” Schleibaum said. “I’m trying to get more involved for my kids. If you want the kids to succeed, this is the way to do it.”

The next scheduled sessions at the Miami Learning Center – 7847 VOA Park Drive – are Oct. 27 and Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to noon.

There is no charge and breakfast and snacks are provided to participants. Lakota high-schools students will provide childcare.

For more information call 513-874-5505 or go to Lakota’s website.

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