umpkin Painting Party One Example Of Parents’ Involvement Through Program

Lincoln Elementary School 1st grader, Bella Rock, painted pumpkins with her mom, Brandi Briggs, during a PACERS after school activity.

Recently, Lincoln Elementary School students and their families enrolled in the PACERS program had the opportunity to attend a “Pumpkin Painting Party.” Kelly Jose and Kat Freeman put together fun activities including pumpkin painting, games, chalk art and refreshments to encourage families to support their child’s education. PACERS stands for Parents Activating Children’s Education Results in Success. PACERS is a program run through Jamestown Community Learning Council that follows an evidence-based national curriculum called Parents As Teachers. They believe that parents are their child’s best and most important teacher.

Ms. Jose is in her fourth year working at Lincoln School and Ms. Freeman in her first year. They are an important connection between home and school.

“It’s important for the families to feel like they have some extra support when things seem to be hard,” said Ms. Jose. “We are a great link between home and school and can support the families, not only educationally but also for the family as a whole. We work primarily with the school-aged children but we also work with the younger siblings at home conducting developmental screenings and focusing on parental strengths to continue encouraging their development. We connect families to programs in our community, from free events to basic needs support. Our program understands that learning and growing requires families to feel safe and supported by their school and community. We strive to be the bridge of communication and connect to our broader Chautauqua County community resources.”

Ms. Jose started as an intern at both the TEAM and the JCLC administration office. She enjoyed learning all the different aspects of the agency and loved seeing the difference the staff made in the lives of so many families. She was thrilled to be offered the position as a Home Visitor at Lincoln

See PACERS, Page D7

“I felt it was the perfect fit for me. I love the school, the staff and all the families I have had the privilege to work with each year,” said Ms. Jose.

Ms. Freeman’s daughter started in the program when they moved to the district halfway through her UPK year. They loved having the support and connection to her new school.

“It felt like we had a better connection to her teacher and what was going on at school,” said Ms. Freeman. “As a parent you don’t always know how to help support learning or even how students are being taught reading and math, as it is different from how I learned. I don’t think parents feel comfortable admitting that sometimes it’s hard, really hard to get out the door in the morning on time, homework done, social emotional needs met, and at the end of the day we need a little encouragement too! Plus a free book every month, I was sold on the program!”

Ms. Jose and Ms. Freeman meet with around 40 families a month for approximately an hour. At each visit, they go over age appropriate information and handouts according to their curriculum and discuss any concerns or needs. Parents engage in an activity with their child and receive a learning packet full of information and more activities to allow for continued learning at home. Every child also receives a book to keep at each monthly visit.

Ms. Jose and Ms. Freeman also communicate with teachers and find out the strengths of the children as well as where they can provide more support. They visit classrooms to learn, observe and assist teachers. They make learning fun with games and activities. Their curriculum teaches adults about child development and how to foster learning in ways that may not seem like learning. For example, a craft that includes cutting, pasting, and drawing can support motor skills, cognitive development, and language and communication skills. The same project can lead to hugs and words of encouragement, showing a child through actions that mom or dad is there to support their creativity and are ready to help, which is part of attachment and social emotional growth. Ms. Jose and Ms. Freeman work with the school-aged children as well as the younger siblings at home, conducting developmental screenings and providing activities to encourage school readiness.

“The best part of our job is meeting families and building relationships with parents, guardians, and students,” said Ms. Jose and Ms. Freeman. “We enjoy chatting with families and getting to know the entire family so we can help out in any way possible, through parent handouts and additional resources.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today