Building Relationships with Families Through After School Event Nights

By Eric Antuna on September 24, 2009

Now more than ever working with students' parents and families plays such an important role in a student's educational career. Often we find ourselves working with students and struggling to provide those necessary concepts for them to learn. Working with parents and families after school provides an invaluable opportunity to build a close relationship with families to make the education of their students a priority.



Recently, another teacher, Amanda Gonzales and I worked on a family literacy night coupled with working in the school computer lab.  We conveniently called it "Taco Tuesday" (as it was Tuesday and we purchased meat, taco shells, and salsa to lure parents back to school). We simply wanted to work with parents, families, and students to work together in a family activity that they can do anytime where ever they are. We simply put together an activity that the families did with their students and ate a taco! It was a great experience for all that attended. Here's what we did:

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1. Had an idea. We presented this idea to our principal and she approved it.

2. We set a date and time and had a fabulous name! Feel free to use Taco Tuesday.

3. We made a simple flyer that we sent to each student at school. (4 flyers to a page that were cut and distributed to teachers' boxes).

4. We got the materials together. For this activity, we had a few sheets of words that would be cut out and put back together to make sentences. We got bags, scissors, and the packets together and let them at it (after their tacos, of course!)

5. We arrived and the parents arrived, we served, explained, and they did.  

6. We ended in the computer lab where students explained what they did during the school day.

This was such a rewarding experience that we're going to be doing this weekly for the benefit of the students, parents, and families beginning next week (October 1).  

Good luck with creating you own!

Have a success story?  Please share!

Thanks!

Eric

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Comments

I loved Taco Tuesday! You rock!!

Mandy- Yes, we do!

-Eric

Eric, This is a wonderful idea-thank you for sharing. My team (2nd grade) have been thinking about doing a short literacy night activty. This sounds perfect-Taco Tuesday! Lisa

Lisa-

I am so glad that you are thinking about it! We had such a great turn out with very minimal investment. I look forward to hearing about your success!

-Eric

It sounds like a great investment of time to improve learning opportunities for all...parents, kids, and teachers!

How long do you plan to do this on a weekly basis? It would be great to see the topics you choose for each week as well as the resources you use.

Thanks, Linda

Linda-

We're doing this about an hour a week, generally leaving the lab open for questions that come from parents and families. As far as the literacy portion goes, we're working on making more simple projects that families can make and take. I'll keep you posted on what we do!

Thanks!

-Eric

Eric,

Love the idea! I'm a technology teacher for grades 3 -6 and I think my kids would LOVE having the parents come to the computer lab at night so they could 'show off' some of the great things they are doing during the day... And, I love tacos.

Thanks for the tip - I'll be checking back often! In the meantime, it's Parents' Night tonight - time to prepare!

Brian

Brian- I completely agree! Good luck on your parent night tonight! We'll be hosting our second one tomorrow night!

-Eric

We always have some type of family evening activity during the school year. I am going to suggest something like this where families work together to create something. Thanks for the great idea!

Catherine-

Great idea! I love that we all share ideas for the betterment of schools and families!

Thanks!

-Eric

HI Eric! I think it’s great that you invited the parents out for Taco Tuesday! The more parents we have involved with our students’ learning, the more successful our students will be. Thanks for sharing a great idea! =)

Danielle-

I completely agree. The more we work with parents and families, the better chance we have at making a child successful! Thanks for the comment!

-Eric

Taco Tuesday!!!! I love it!!! Great idea for all grade levels!!!!

Andrea-

It is! Can't wait to hear back if you had a success!

-Eric

Eric,

Great idea! Seems simple and quick, and everyone loves to have food served. How did you get the funds for this? Did the parents just create sentences with the kids? Or did it turn out to be a story? Were there other activities? It sounds like a fun night, and I love how the kids had time to explain what they did in school that day! I think that too often families don't spend time together having dinner and talking about their days anymore. Great ideas!

Laura-

Thanks for the comment! Actually, we just paid for the food on our own (it came out to about $60 for about 50 people) and we did the time on our own. The words were just put together to make sentences that, if they choose, could be spring boards into stories for writing homework or just oral story starters. We kept this simple because it was our first of the year and we didn't know what our turn out would be. That simple activity was just enough for everyone to finish and get their tacos. Also, we didn't restrict grade levels, so we have siblings participating from preschool to high school and every age in between.

Thanks again for the comment!

-Eric

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