Future scientists and mathematicians are showered with praise while attending an awards breakfast with parents and community members at Poinciana Elementary. A Career Showcase with over 150 presenters, including a number of parents, gives students an opportunity to explore a wide variety of careers at Suncoast High School. These two Parent Involvement programs were submitted as Palm Beach County’s nominations for Florida Parent Involvement Awards. The Florida Department of Education Parent Involvement Awards recognize projects that successfully engage parents in meaningful school-based programs.
At Poinciana Elementary School each month parents are invited to the school to acknowledge their children through the school’s Scientist and Mathematician of the Month program. Parents, grandparents and other family members, along with business partners that are recognized for their donations, attend an awards breakfast. Students who meet the programs criteria are selected by their teachers. Each class has one Scientist and Mathematician chosen each month. Over a hundred parents and family members attend each month with many becoming more involved in their child’s education and activities at the school.
Through the Career Showcase at Suncoast High School which is organized in part by parent volunteers, students are given the opportunity to explore a wide variety of careers over their four years at the school. Students are also given the opportunity to establish mentor relationships and to secure internships from the representatives of the various careers represented at the Showcase. Approximately 150 presenters, many being parents, of over 80 different careers are selected to present based on requests by students. Students visit the Showcase by grade level. Prior to their visit which is held in the school gym, students review a packet with a list of career descriptions. Each grade has an hour to circulate among the presenters and discuss career options.
The Parent Involvement Award is sponsored with the Florida PTA and supported through business partnerships. School-level parent involvement programs are evaluated on their:
- impact on family involvement,
- ability to be replicated,
- relationship to the goals and objectives of the school,
- participation of parents/families in the planning and implementation,
- uniqueness and innovation,
- impact on school improvement,
- method of funding, and
Program winners will have their program outlined in the SPARKPLUGS FOR FAMILY INVOLVEMENT and THE FAMILY RESOURCE DIRECTORY. These are circulated throughout the state by volunteer coordinators, PTA leaders and other family involvement program coordinators. The Commissioner of Education will recognize the parent representatives of these programs at the Florida PTA Leadership Conference in July 2013.