The BLC Blog
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
If you are like me, it may seem like the past school year just ended. However the ads in the newspaper and on television indicate that the start of a new academic year is just a matter of days or weeks away.
Here are some ideas for you to consider as you make plans for that all-important first day:
After school activities, sponsored by the school or other organizations, require careful planning as well. Sometimes children can be involved in too many activities. As a parent, you have the best understanding of what is “too much” for your child. I remember an eighth-grade student bemoaning that he never had time just “to be” because it seemed like every minute was filled with activity. This young man just wanted some time when he didn’t have “to do” anything. As adults we often feel that same way, don’t we? It is so important that you and your child plan for time just “to be.”
Parents, you are an essential member of your child’s educational team….home and school working together make all the difference in the world!
Two weeks ago, I went to the movies with some friends. As a working mom of two preschoolers, I don’t get out much. I was excited - giddy, actually – to go out with the girls. We were headed to The Neon, a quirky, local, independent theater. It’s a Dayton institution and I had never been before. My excitement felt inappropriate, though, because the show we were about to see was a documentary about the heroin epidemic, filmed right here in Dayton.
My coworkers and I had been invited by CareSource to a screening of America Divided: The Epidemic. The show was followed by a group discussion about the opiate crisis that has resulted in thousands of overdoses and more unintentional drug-related deaths here than anywhere else in the country. If you live in Dayton, you know what I’m talking about. If you are reading this from elsewhere, know this: There is no more space in the morgues. There is not enough Narcan. We are no longer shocked when we see images of unconscious parents in cars, their children wide awake, strapped into car seats in the back. Very bad things are happening in our great little Midwest city.
Although America Divided: The Epidemic was well-done, it was hard to watch. It was exciting to see Dayton landmarks on the big screen. It was horrible to see the real footage of overdoses happening in the streets surrounding those familiar places. The film, hosted by actor Peter Sarsgaard, whose cousin struggles with addiction, explored several causes of the crisis – unethical marketing and over-prescription of painkillers, decline of the middle class due to factory closures, cartels. There is no easy solution to a problem with such myriad causes and though the discussion afterwards was difficult, it was also inspiring to be in a room full of people committed to finding solutions and providing help to those affected. Dayton’s drug epidemic sometimes feels insurmountable, but there are small things we all can do to help combat this crisis.
Here are three ideas that made a big impact on me:
After the film, as my coworkers and I headed to our cars, we heard sirens and had to wait for an ambulance to pass before we could cross the street. “There goes another one,” my coworker said.
Thank You, CareSource, for the opportunity to see and discuss this important film. America Divided is available on Hulu, Epix, and Amazon Prime. Filmed in the lead-up to the 2016 election, each episode examines a current issue in the context of inequality. It was produced by Shonda Rimes, Common and Norman Lear and features familiar Hollywood faces including Zack Galifianakis, America Ferrera, Jesse Williams, and Amy Poehler, each of whom has a personal connection to the topic they investigate. Watch it. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Sr. Barbara Davis, SC, Tutor & Volunteer
As the calendar turns to the month of June, young people from preschool to high school turn their attention to summer vacation. Freedom from the daily routine of classes and homework gives way to a more relaxed schedule. Educators, however, realize that learning never takes a vacation and the summer months often lead to a loss of skills, particularly in the areas of mathematics and reading.
Parents, guardians, and caregivers are instrumental in providing learning opportunities, both formal and informal. Possibilities include:
Above all, be creative! Involve your child in finding new things to learn and to explore. Always remember "learning NEVER takes a vacation!"
For the past six weeks, Wednesdays at the BLC have shined even brighter than normal. That's because every Wednesday since Ash Wednesday, March 1st, some of the fine folks from St. Charles-Borromeo in Kettering have come by the Center with carloads of supplies for our students.
This year the St. Charles-Borromeo parish chose the Brunner Literacy Center as a recipient of their annual Lenten donation drive. Individuals and families contributed items like bus tokens, gift cards, notebooks, backpacks, and office supplies. These supplies came in bags and bags, filling up trunks of cars, filling up shopping carts. In fact, BLC staff and volunteers often had to borrow shopping carts from the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store next door just to get all the bags into the building! And every week even more supplies would arrive.
The Brunner Literacy Center has grown a great deal from where it was a year ago. We now operate at four different locations throughout Dayton, and we serve a more diverse population than ever before, including refugees, food pantry patrons, and those involved in the correctional system. Literacy changes lives. We know that to be true. And the people of St. Charles are making sure our students' lives change for the better. We are very grateful for their kindness, generosity, love, and support, and we wish the best to everyone who has helped us and our students this spring.
Recently I have begun to serve as a tutor and volunteer at the Brunner Literacy Center. Over the past three months, I have had the opportunity to speak with several students who have children in school – preschool through high school. In the course of these conversations, one of the things I have stressed is the value of parents maintaining communication with their child’s teacher. Several opportunities are provided for parents:
Parent-Teacher Conferences: Schools generally provide conference times during or at the end of the first grading period. Many will also provide a conference time in the spring. Of course, parents always have the right to request a conference with a teacher to discuss concerns or to ask questions. As a teacher for ten years and administrator for thirty-three years, I always believed that open communication between home and school is one of the best ways to insure that children are receiving an optimal educational experience.
Schools are required to provide information to both custodial and non-custodial parents. The only exception is if there is a court order prohibiting the non-custodial parent from having any contact with the school.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP): Some children receive instruction, often individual, outside the regular classroom setting. Generally an IEP is developed for the child which outlines the goals in a particular subject area, for example reading or mathematics, for the academic year. Federal, state, and/or local school laws and best practice require that parents (custodial and non-custodial) be invited to a conference to discuss the plan at both the beginning and end of the academic year. Attendance at both conferences provides valuable information for the parent(s) and lets the child know that his/her parents are interested not only in the child’s progress but also want to know how they can reinforce the school experience at home.
Why be involved in your child’s education?
Two students at the Center commented that they want their children to do well in school so that as adults they won’t be faced with challenges resulting from their inability to read or to perform basic math computations. I encouraged them to play an active role in their child’s education.
I often used the analogy that removing a small stone from one’s shoe as soon as the wearer notices it prevents blisters and an aching foot. If the stone is left in place, the pain becomes much greater. So, too, what seems like a small concern on the part of a parent, if left unattended, can result in a much bigger issue. Parents and teachers all want what is best for the children.
Truly maintaining a strong parent- school connection greatly enhances a child’s academic success. By working together, amazing things can be accomplished!
Adult Basic Education (ABE)
Adults with Other Needs (AON)
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
General Equivalency Diploma (GED®)
License Preparation (LP)