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Hundreds attend Parent University barbecue

monticello community welcomes parent university 

October 3, 2014

Hundreds of families attended Parent University's kick off barbecue. The sun shone on more than 700 Monticello Central School District parents, teachers, students and community members who gathered at a local park to launch a new district initiative designed to bring families and schools together.

On Sept. 27, the district held a barbecue at De Hoyos Memorial Park in Monticello as a way to raise awareness about Parent University, a free educational program offered for parents, caregivers and families.

Parent University provides centralized access to resources that guide children to academic success and wellness, said Superintendent of Schools Tammy Mangus. Several communtiy organizations were available to answer questions.

“One of our key goals this year is to create a friendly, welcoming environment for all of our families. We hope that monthly programs, like our community visits prior to the beginning of the school year and our kick-off barbeque, will be a great first step in building a strong home to school partnership,” Mangus said.

The Parent University program grew from a partnership between the district’s social worker April Resnick, and EPIC (Every Person Influences Children) coordinators Melissa Rennie and Jane Sorensen.

Inspired by the district’s community minded culture shift, Ms. Resnick and her team pooled their resources to create a free, fun, innovative learning experience that offers parents ideas to help their children succeed.

“Parent University provides parents and families the opportunity to become a full partner in their child’s education,” Resnick said. “By bringing the most important people in a child’s education –school district staff and their families – together in a collaborative way, we can ensure their success.”A barbecue lunch and spread was provided by district staff free of charge.

The program was instantly supported by the district’s Social and Emotional Wellness Committee, which firmly believes that community collaboration is key to student success.

The kick-off event centered around parent engagement and ensuring that families are provided with easy access to opportunities and tools that support learning, as well as empower them to advocate for their children in school.

Representatives from Hudson Health, New Hope Community Sullivan County Board of Elections and United Way and more were on hand to provide information and answer questions.

Many community members said they looked forward to the next Parent University event. In addition to addressing how parents can support their children in school, Parent University workshops and events also focus on how parents can enrich their own lives. Topics include adult education, college preparation, job skills, social service, student achievement and technology training.

The next Parent University event will be the Literacy Matters March, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 30 at Cooke Elementary.

For more information on Parent University, which is free for all Monticello residents, call April Resnick at (845) 888-2471 ext. 50121.