Summer days dwindle as the start of school approaches.
As Nebraskans prepare for the beginning of a new school year, parents are being urged to get involved in their children’s education.
Gov. Dave Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem held a joint news conference at the Capitol to announce that August has been designated Parental Involvement in Education Month.
Ganem, a former elementary school teacher and principal, said small steps by parents can make a big difference in a child’s life.
“Reading is probably the best way to be involved with their child, because it helps increase vocabulary,” Ganem said. “Actually, reading, I have always founds, it calms children down and their listening and their learning from what you are reading to them.”
The governor also offered an everyday example that could work in teaching math. Heineman said trips to the store would provide him an opportunity to ask their son, Sam, to calculate the change he should receive from a transaction.
Heineman said he understands some parents feel a bit intimidated when they approach the homework their students must work on, especially in math or literature. He said it isn’t necessary to know the subject matter thoroughly.
“You don’t have to be the teacher in that sense,” Heineman said. “You just have to set the high expectations, that learning is important.”
The Nebraska Community Learning Center Network plans a number of efforts to encourage parental involvement, including at the State Fair in Grand Island later this month. The network will demonstrate how the application of science, technology, engineering and math make events like the fair possible.
Studies indicate that parental involvement increases school attendance, improves accomplishments, and decreases discipline problems.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem hold news conference to encourage parents to get involved with their children’s education. [6:30]