Parents to help students 'do better'

DANBURY - "I Can Do Better" is the theme of a free workshop Saturday aimed to help middle school and high school students and their parents plan strategies to improve student performance and share tips for success.

Coalition of African American Churches and Organizations of Greater Danbury and the Hord Foundation are sponsoring the event. It runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center on the Midtown campus of Western Connecticut State University . As part of the program, students write letters to themselves with plans to do better in school and make pledges with student buddies they meet at the event. In addition, accountability for following through will be required of students, parents, churches and the schools.
Eddie Davis , superintendent of Danbury public schools, said this type of program can make a difference. "If we get parents more involved in the education of their children, we know we will see gains academically in the children," Davis said. "It's strengthening the family. It's helping parents get a better understanding of how they can be supportive of their children at home." Many parents talk about increasing their involvement in their children's education, but they need help to know how they can help. "It has to do with expectations that parents have of their children and the routines that parents set at home for them," Davis said. Children are in school six hours of the day, but parents are in charge of them for 18 hours a day. "If parents aren't reinforcing what the school is doing and the school is not knowledgeable about what the parents are doing at home, we will miss the mark," Davis said. "If we come together, we can see success." The program, which is open to the public, begins with 9 a.m. registration and an opening session from 9:50 to 10:15 a.m. From, 10:30 to 11:25 a.m., clinical psychologist Ree LeBlanc Gunter will lead a workshop for middle school students, and social worker Jules Reed will lead one for high school students. At that same time, Edie Thomas , assistant principal at Broadview Middle School in Danbury will lead a workshop for parents. The schedule includes a tour of the new science building at WestConn before lunch. Lunch will include a presentation by one of the experts, and a panel will conduct a wrap-up session from 1 to 2 p.m.

Contact Eileen FitzGerald


or (203) 731-3333.