The Varnett Public School kicked off its district-wide parent empowerment initiative Thursday night with a dinner and inspirational speeches designed to help parents guide their children to academic success.
The message to parents was “You Got the Power.”
The Power of Powerful Parenting (PPP) is a culturally responsive parent-centered approach to increasing Black and Hispanic parents’ advocacy and expectations for the academic success of their children.
Dr. Mack Hines III, dubbed the “solid voice of students of color,” led the discussion with passion, information and inspiration. He was joined at the dinner by Dr. Margaret Stroud, superintendent of Varnett schools, and representatives from East, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Early Childhood campuses.
Representatives from each campus did a play on the word Power:
P – Patience (Northeast)
O – Optimism (East)
W – Work (Early Childhood)
E – Expectation (Dr. Hines)
R – Resilience (Southwest)
“Parents’ optimism is to send their children to school hoping for the best educational outcome,” Ms. Gayle Voltz, East Campus director, told the audience of parents. “Research shows that parent involvement is essential for student success.”
Each campus, led by the parent liaisons, will hold sessions throughout the school year to follow up on the PPP initiative.
In closing, Dr. Lakeisha Hamilton, the district's chief academic officer, repeated a quote by abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass:
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."