My higher grades, attend school more regularly,

My family consists of myself, my husband, and our four beautiful children. I come from a large family in India. The family is a single word, with many different meanings. People have many ways of defining a family and what being a part of a family means to them. For me, the family is two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another and reside usually in the same dwelling. My traditional family consists of six of us-mom, dad, three sons and a daughter. I am a teacher. I have come to understand that school, family, community work together. One cannot survive without the other. It takes a village to raise a child. The community has an essential role to play in the growth and development of children. In addition to the vital role that parents and family members play in a child’s education, the broader community too has a responsibility to assure high-quality education for all students. I see parent involvement as volunteers, mostly mothers, assisting in the classroom, chaperoning students, and fundraising. School-family-community partnership now includes mothers and fathers, stepparents, grandparents, foster parents, other relatives, and caregivers. In my social circle, it is clear that parent, family, and community involvement in education correlates with higher academic performance and school improvement. When schools, parents, families, and communities work together to support learning, students tend to earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and enroll in higher level programs. 

Research and field work shows that parent-school-partnerships improve schools, strengthen families, build community support, and increase student achievement and success. 

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Dr. Edward Frank Zigler is an American developmental psychologist and Sterling Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. In addition to his academic research on child development, he is best known as one of the architects of the federal Head Start program. Zigler’s career has focused on researching and providing services for disadvantaged children, including disadvantages from mental retardation, disabilities, or poverty. Dr. Zigler continues his lifetime interest in the motivational determinants of children’s performance and the influence of life circumstances on children’s behavior and development. This work includes the effects of socialization settings, child care, schools, intervention programs, and family factors. A major branch of Zigler’s studies and writings concerns the development of social action programs to meet the needs of children and their families. 

Zigler had been trained as a scientist and was distressed that the new program was not going to be field-tested before its nationwide launch. Arguing that it was not wise to base such a massive, innovative program on good ideas and concepts but little empirical evidence, he insisted that research and evaluation be part of head start. When he later became the federal official responsible for administering the program, Zigler, often referred to as the father of Head Start worked to cast Head Start as a national laboratory for the design of effective early childhood services. Many research ideas designed and tested in the Head Start laboratory have been adapted in a variety of service delivery programs. These include family support services, home visiting, a credentialing process for early childhood workers, and education for parenthood. Head start’s efforts in preschool education spotlighted the value of school readiness and helped spur today’s movement toward universal preschool. 

NAEYC’s goal is to build support for equal access to high-quality educational programs that recognize and promote all aspects of children’s development and learning, enabling all children to become competent, successful, and socially responsible adults. It is important to recognize that every child is an individual with unique characteristics, temperament, and developmental pathways. Adults responsible for creating children’s learning opportunities must consider the unique interplay between the child and the environment in order to fully support their growth and development. Being a teacher, it is very important for me to accept diversity. Effective teachers of culturally diverse students acknowledge both individual and cultural differences enthusiastically and identify these differences in a positive communication and instructional strategies. Social skills such as respect and cross-cultural understanding can be modeled, taught, prompted, and reinforced by the teacher. Building an understanding of childrens’ lives also enables the teacher to increase the relevance of lessons and make examples more meaningful. We all behave differently in different settings. Teaching children the differences between their home, school, and community settings can help them switch to appropriate behavior for each context. While some children adjust their behavior automatically, others must be taught and provided ample opportunities to practice. Involving families and the community can help students learn to adjust their behavior in each of the settings in which they interact. Offering variety provides the students with opportunities to learn in ways that are responsive to their own communication styles, cognitive styles, and aptitudes, In addition, the variety helps them develop and strengthen other approaches to learning. Providing increased opportunities for high and low achievers to boost their self-esteem, develop positive self-attributes, and enhance their strengths, and talents. 


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