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Graham Park Middle School Implements Parent Camps

Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

The third of four parent camps planned this school year for parents of sixth grade students at Graham Park Middle is scheduled for 6:00 to 8:30 p. m. March 7 at the school. Complimentary dinner and childcare for children ages 5-12 will be provided. Register for the parent camp by March 2.

Parents can choose from several workshops covering topics such as understanding and acceptance of diversity, prevention of cyberbullying, admission requirements of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science, family fun and learning with games, tricks and shortcuts to eating healthy and staying active, and making good choices.

Graham Park Middle School implemented parent camps after Librarian Beth van Kan learned about the idea through the U.S. Department of Education’s Family and Community Engagement website.

“Like many schools, Graham Park is always looking for new and different ideas to engage their school community,” van Kan said. “Graham Park’s leader, Principal Maria Ramadane, is a whole-hearted believer that ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ The goals of parent camp are to welcome the community into our school to grow and share in knowledge and strengthen communication. In doing so, we create the best environment possible for our learners to succeed.”

The original topics for parent camps were created based on research on other types of programs across the country, van Kan added. She said evaluations from the first camp this school year solicited feedback from parents on suggested future camps.

With the first two of four sixth-grade parent camps completed, the results are still yet to be evidenced, but van Kan said she believes Graham Park Middle School will see positive results over time.

“We have had outstanding presenters and workshops and those community members who have engaged have gained and shared their knowledge and made new contacts they can enjoy,” she said. “However, we realize school community-building is a process and it will take an ongoing commitment to see results over time. We are looking forward to seeing relationships strengthened over the course of each year as we learn together, are more and more comfortable communicating with each other, and realize that this strengthened school community environment provides the opportunity for our learners to succeed to their best ability.”

The last parent camp planned for this school year will be held on May 30.

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