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Florida Education Officials Kick Off Month Linking Parent Involvement To Student Success

Florida Department of Educationn's website

Florida education officials have kicked off Florida Family Engagement in Education Month. It highlights the importance of parent involvement in their child’s education.

On Monday, Florida’s Family Engagement in Education Month kicked off at DeSoto Trail Elementary School in Tallahassee, where Michele Keltner is the principal.

“The success of our school is due in large part to the support we get from our trailblazer families,” said Keltner. “Our PTO sponsors many events, like the 5k run for literacy—for which we received our region’s Family Engagement Award last year from the Florida Department of Education.”

And, Keltner adds there are many parents at DeSoto Trail who go above and beyond.

“You can always find parent volunteers on our campus to mentoring, to helping at the front office to mentoring to preparing Monday folders to decorating for grade level performances, as you can see by the decorations on our stage,” she added. “We just had a performance on Friday.”

And, Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says those are the type of things more parents across the state should be doing.

“Students have better academic achievement,” said Stewart. “They have better attendance. They have better behavior. They are more motivated than students whose parents are not involved. There’s great research around that.”

So, she encourages students to get not only their parents, but their other family members, more involved.

“It’s a great chance for us to come together and spend one whole month on ways parents, aunts and uncles and grandparents and those who really are caring adults in children’s lives—that we can focus on the ways they can positively interact and have an impact on the success of a child in education,” she added.

Stewart says there will be more events planned this month across the state. For more information, visit the Florida Department of Education’s website.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.