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Mile High Parents Campaign Launches in Denver Schools

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[photopress:mhparents.jpg,full,pp_image]Denver Public Schools Parent Empowerment Council recently announced the official launch of the Mile High Parents Campaign. The program is designed to increase parent engagement and to celebrate the hundreds of things parents already do to further their kids’ academic success.

Structured as a multi-year initiative, the 2008-2009 school year marks the official kick off of Mile High Parents. By enrolling in the program, parents agree to proactively engage with their children and invest 5,280 minutes, or 30 minutes a day per school year. Parents then track their time through forms provided by participating schools and eventually through an online system.

Mile High Parents will be the driving force of encouragement and support for parents and participating schools throughout the process. Suggested activities include reading with a child, attending cultural activities like the zoo, helping with homework, or discussing current events like politics and the importance of elections.

Parent engagement is paramount to the success of children when it comes to overall academic achievement. Studies suggest that simple, intentional actions taken by parents each day can result in higher grades, higher test scores, higher graduation rates and increased self esteem for school-aged children. And, studies also indicate that parents need not have large amounts of free time to benefit their children. Any level of parent involvement has a significant impact and engagement transcends boundaries related to household income, education level, and culture.

“Parents aren’t aware that they already do dozens of things each day to support their children,” said Marlene DeLa Rosa, chair of the Parent Empowerment Council. “Our role is to be their cheerleaders, support their current engagement and provide them with the tools necessary to increase their investment.”

The campaign will be implemented district wide and 35 schools have already elected to participate for the 2008-2009 school year. The program can be customized by each principal to meet the needs of individual school communities. Mile High Parents will provide each school with an arsenal of tools to support engagement efforts including parent ambassadors and toolkits. The toolkits include information for teachers and parents, tracking forms, and suggested ways to engage with children.

Participating parents have an opportunity to earn incentive gifts and win a variety of prizes including tickets to the ballet, college savings accounts, and more. Participating schools can also receive additional support including parent education events, coaching and support for staff.

The program launches on Wednesday, September 17th at Whittier Elementary, located at 2480 Downing Street. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet will be the first parents to officially pledge their support. At the event, the Mayor and Superintendent will sign up for Mile High Parents and agree to spend 30 minutes per school day engaging in their children’s school success. Remarks will begin at 9:15 a.m.

Parents can sign up by visiting milehighparents.org and schools can enroll by calling 720-980-5252.

About Mile High Parents
Mile High Parents is a parent engagement program designed to promote, support, celebrate and increase sustained parent engagement in Denver Public Schools. The program is presented by the Denver Public Schools Parent Empowerment Council and is managed and supported by Assets for Colorado Youth, a nonprofit positive youth development organization. More information for parents and schools is available at milehighparents.org

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