Parent engagement in young children’s school careers is considered to be largely on the demise, with an estimated half of parents volunteering or serving on a committee for students from kindergarten through fifth grade, with dramatic drops in that percentage as children enter middle and high school. The ARKGroup’s Parent Engagement Program (PEP) is designed to help parents and caregivers give their children a better sense of emotional well-being inside the home that can then positively impact the quality of their social-emotional climate inside a school environment.

What Is the PEP Program?

PEP, or Parent Engagement Program, is a new concept geared toward parent involvement that starts at home with ensuring the emotional well-being of a child that can then significantly affect the quality of the social-emotional climate at school.

Remote Learning and the PEP Program

While parent engagement is key for a child’s learning success in almost any scenario, it has become challenging in new ways amidst the coronavirus pandemic. One of the biggest challenges of this environment is learning how to successfully navigate it because it is something families have never before experienced.

Some examples of the challenges families are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic are:

  • A single mother who works two jobs in an effort to provide her children with shelter and food while still trying to care emotionally for her family.
  • A two-parent home in which unemployment has created an emotional and financial strain amidst being inside with children all day every day.
  • Children trying to make sense of the constant opening and closing of their schools while still keeping up the learning experience.

In Texas, the state requires every public school to provide some sort of program designed to encourage parent involvement on the campus, but in this pandemic season, parent engagement is even more critical. To that end, schools should provide a program to specifically help parents navigate the coronavirus pandemic while still creating a sense of emotional stability at home. This is where The ARKGroup’s PEP Program can help schools and parents.

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Creating A Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum

For many school districts, creating and implementing a social-emotional learning curriculum can drain already tight finances and valuable time. With this in mind, PEP can be an inexpensive, award-winning, research-based, and quality social emotional learning curriculum that makes this goal achievable for schools and the families they serve.

The implementation of this ARKGroup program consists primarily of two easy steps:

  1. ARKGroup providing school districts with information sheets, publicity materials, and access codes to share with their schools.
  2. Schools giving parents access to seven individual online modules that can be done at their own pace and at their convenience. Each award-winning module consists of a lesson, quiz, message board, and journal and closes with a state-certified certificate of completion.

This set up allows school districts and their member schools to provide students and their families with access to a ready-made program that is as close as their fingertips, and it can equip parents to foster the social and emotional health of their children, which will also benefit their school experience.

How an SEL Curriculum Can Benefit A School

When trying to understand how an SEL or social emotional learning program can help benefit a school, the most important concept is knowing that the work starts at home.

The challenge amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is that students who may feel safe emotionally at school, may not necessarily have that same experience at home due to a number of different issues that can significantly impact family relationships and create intense stress.

As thousands of children nationwide are missing in person or taking online classes and may be facing failing one or more courses due to the effects of the pandemic, there is still hope. Parents participating in the PEP can better equip themselves to help foster resilience in their children when faced with adversity by:

  • Improving parent-child relationships
  • Making positive changes in parenting behaviors
  • Encouraging parents to promote their children’s success at school
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These small changes at home can make a big influence on a child’s social and emotional well-being, which will in turn translate to substantial changes in the social-emotional climate in the school environment.  Parents who commit to making positive changes for social emotional learning for their child at home often report the following school-based outcomes for that child:

  • Improved behavior in the classroom
  • Better test scores
  • Lower truancy rates
  • Less bullying
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With one study showing that improved social-emotional learning in children yielded an almost eleven percent improvement rate in test scores, research shows the benefits of an SEL curriculum. Now imagine the benefits of using PEP as a district-level program and the gains it could yield in the academic and social-emotional climate at campuses.

We want the best for our kids, and PEP is a way to help them during a pandemic season in which even we as adults are struggling. School districts hold the key to creating a better academic and social-emotional environment on campus as they work to connect families with the PEP program’s pre-established resources.

If you are a member of a school board, a school administrator, teacher, or parent that is interested in accessing PEP through your local school district, please reach out to ARKGroup today for more information and to see how we might initiate a partnership.

Dr G

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