YouthQuest students participate in a variety of field trips, enrichment activities and community engagement opportunities throughout the academic year and summer. And at least six times a year, parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members are invited to join them.
“YouthQuest takes a holistic approach with its programming,” says LaKeitha Givens, Director of the afterschool program. “Family plays a central role in a child’s development, so it’s important that we involve them wherever and whenever we can.”
Family nights are free to attend and vary by site. At the high school level, parents might be invited to learn about financial aid or test-taking skills and strategies. At the elementary level, they might be challenged to complete a task or build something with their child. Not only do students learn a new skill, they do it alongside their parents.
Research shows that the benefits of family engagement are many. Examples include:
- Improved student outcomes (i.e., attendance, behavior and grades)
- Better, closer relationships between parents and children at home
- Greater student involvement in school and extracurricular activities
Gloria Jones, who has three students in the YouthQuest program, says that she and her husband often attend family nights.
“It’s a great way to support the kids and to support the program,” Jones says. “Last year, YouthQuest hosted a movie-themed family night. We had a great time, so we started our own movie night at home.”
Are you ready to experience what your student experiences on a daily basis? There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in the coming months. Sites generally distribute event flyers and info about one month prior to the date of the event. In the meantime, here are some family nights scheduled this month:
- Feb. 14: Valentine’s Dance at Brownell STEM Academy
- Feb. 16: Art with a Twist at Randels Elementary
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE