Parent Academy – Fall River, MA

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Project at a Glance

  • Issue Area Education and youth
  • Engagement Approaches Partnering with residents, Surveys and data
Project Description

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Recognizing the importance of having parents involved in their children’s education, Fall River formed the Parent Academy, a joint effort between the city’s Director of Early Childhood and Parent and Community Engagement, and the School District’s Superintendent. More than 60 people from 32 organizations came together to raise the necessary funds and design the initiative, among them businesspeople, school representatives, local officials and community members. The academy planning committee surveyed parents to determine what classes would be of interest and how they wanted the academy to fun, and received more than 750 responses in a variety of languages. As a result, more than 60 classes and training programs were designed, under three focus areas:

  1. Helping Children Achieve and Succeed in School: Helping parents and family members navigate and support children’s academic learning success in school, at home and in the community.
  2. Personal Growth, Family Health & Wellness: Building the necessary personal, social and emotional skills and knowledge, together with a healthy lifestyle that empowers families to grow and thrive in our community.
  3. Career and Professional Growth: Training and certification opportunities that can help parents and family members achieve long-term personal, professional and economic success.

Classes are held in various locations throughout the city that are convenient and accessible—e.g. at schools, the Greater Fall River Children’s Museum, the Fall River YMCA, businesses, and more. The program has shown positive outcome for participants on parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children.

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