Why You Should Volunteer
Student achievement improves when parents become involved in their children’s education at school and in the community.
Recent research has shown that, particularly for students who have reached high school, the type of parent involvement that has the most impact on student performance requires their direct participation in school activities (1).
- Steinberg’s (1) three-year study of 12,000 students in nine high schools revealed that the following types of parent involvement draw parents into the schools physically and are most effective in improving academic achievement: attending school programs, extracurricular activities, conferences, and ‘back to school’ nights. It was concluded that “When parents come to school regularly, it reinforces the view in the child’s mind that school and home are connected-and that school is an integral part of the whole family’s life (1).”
- Eagle (2:12) analyzed data from a High School and Beyond national survey of 11,227 participants who were high school seniors in 1980 and participated in a follow-up survey in 1986. She studied the effects upon student achievement of a number of family background factors and concluded that, when SES is controlled, “parent involvement during high school” had the most significant positive impact upon student achievement of the factors studied.
- Snow (3) in her two-year study of home and school influences on literacy achievement among children from low-income families, found that the single variable most positively connected to all literacy skills was formal involvement in parent-school activities such as PTA participation, attending school activities, and serving as a volunteer.
- From their survey of 2,317 inner-city elementary- and middle-school parents, Dauber and Epstein (4:61) found that the strongest and most consistent predictors of parent involvement at school and at home are the specific school programs and teacher practices that encourage parent involvement at school and guide parents in how to help their children at home.
- Steinberg, Lawrence, et al. Beyond the Classroom: Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster (1996).
- Eagle, Eva. “Socioeconomic Status, Family Structure, and Parental Involvement: The Correlates of Achievement.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Francisco: American Educational Research Association (March, 1989). ED 307 332
- Snow, Catherine E., Wendy S. Barnes, Jean Chandler, Irene F. Goodman, and Lowry Hemphill. Unfulfilled Expectations: Home and School Influences on Literacy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press (1991).
- Dauber, Susan and Joyce Epstein. “Parent Attitudes and Practices of Involvement in Inner-City Elementary and Middle Schools,” In Families and Schools in a Pluralistic Society, Nancy Feyl, ed., State University of New York Press (1993) Albany, NY: Chap. 2, pp. 53-71. ED 307 332
From: http://www.sdcoe.net/lret2/family/pia.html Copyright©1997 — San Diego County Office of Education.– All rights reserved