If you had three wishes for education, what would they be? If you could tell the new Mayor of Clarkston what you want for your children, what would you say to him?
The families who participated in the March 8 Vision and Voice: Family Leadership Institute, were treated to a visit by Brian Le, representing Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry. Brian talked about the new City of Clarkston Education Task Force and invited families to share their ideas about early learning and education.
Here are some of the ideas that the families shared with Brian and discussed later in the workshop as they planned community projects related to early learning and education:
- A welcoming early learning and school environment. Teachers and staff who know about our diverse cultures, recognize the trauma some of us have been through, and understand that we want the best for our children.
- Problems with discipline and safety in the schools, interfering with learning
- More interaction between the principals, teachers, and the parents, not just when there are problems.
- More bi-lingual teachers/ parent aides, staff.
- More opportunities for parents to be involved in the school. Issues of transportation and language
- More training for teachers and staff on working with families from diverse backgrounds and culture and on teaching children whose first language is not English.
- More discussion on what does learning/good education look like for children
- Early learning programs that we can afford, that are the best.
- More information in diverse languages about how to register for Head Start, Georgia Pre-K, and school.
- Transportation to programs like Head Start and Georgia Pre-K. More Head Start and Pre-K programs.
- Opportunities for parents with infants and toddlers to come together to learn from each other “play and learn” programs.
- More and affordable after school programs, with transportation, nutritional snacks, bi-lingual staff, tutoring as well as enrichment programs
- More education leaders, teachers, and community members who understand that families speaking their home language to their children is important, and that it helps to prepare children for learning English.
Vision and Voice is a program funded by United Way of Greater Atlanta in Clarkston for approximately 25 parents who have pre-school children. The program is sponsored by CDF and Clarkston First Baptist Academy, in partnership with Refugee Family Services and Friends of Refugee’s Mommy and Me refugee literacy program.