Many parents struggle to find time to read with their children at the end of a busy school and work day. They’re tasked with helping with homework, making sure everyone is fed, and of course all the little things in your day that you don’t plan for. With all of this, sometimes the suggested 20 minutes of daily reading doesn’t end up on the top of their to do list. Maria, a single parent of four approached our staff at a Family Involvement Night seeking help with her busy lifestyle.
Maria had just recently gotten out of the AWARE shelter with her four children who were all under the age of 5. Maria was doing everything she could to make ends meet and asked us if there were any resources for parenting classes. As you might imagine, four active, little ones keep you busy. Maria is just one parent among many we see at Family Involvement Nights who don’t always have the easiest home life. Maria was courageous enough to share her story about the struggles of parenting, finding shelter, heat, and food, all while wanting the best for your children.
We told Maria to get in touch with 211 and to inquire about the CARE Program through United Way. We also suggested questions for her to ask. We took her number and said we would reach out if we found other resources.
Energizing Education family nights are about more than just fun literacy activities to help with reading for parents and their children. They are an open door for the whole school where families can get a meal they might not otherwise get. They are an opportunity for parents to reach out and ask questions. They provide a space where we can help connect parents to other resources and community services they may need.
Often you never know how big of an impact you are making on someone. This is just one story from one night. Imagine the lives we have the potential to make a difference for at seven schools. Stories like Maria’s show how one night a month, for 90 minutes can make a huge impact for a family.