Title I Parent Engagement Summit

(WMC-TV) – The tables were turned today for hundreds of Shelby County parents attending a summit where they took a lesson on how to be a better mentor to their kids.

It was a much different scene Saturday at Mt. Pisgah Middle School as teachers taught parents how to become more involved in their child's education.

"I believe if you've got a presence, the kids gotta know you're looking at them, yet like any other part of parenting, if they know you're looking at them, they will do better," said parent Karen Sheen.

Sheen is the parent of a 3rd grader at Lucy Elementary in Millington.

From anti-bullying classes to classes in math, language arts, and discipline, parents like Sheen learned the relationship between parental involvement academic success.

"Have you ever talked to your child, asked him about his day, what happened, how's your friends...I know all about my child's friends," Sheen said.

Saturday's education summit focused on Shelby County's twenty-one title one schools.

Title one schools have a large low income student population.

School administrators say no matter the income level, partnerships between parents and schools is crucial.

"In middle school, the perception is once they hit that age that it's time to release them and let them go when they really need the parents most in middle school because they're trying to find their way," stated Eric Linsy, Principal of Woodstock Middle School.

In a time when teachers are often forced to be parents, school staff say they're encouraged so many parents came out to learn more about how to get more involved.

"Nationally, research says, once you've got them involved, get them plugged in, they'll keep coming back and help a child at home and school," said James Aldinger, SCS Director of Federal Programs and Grants.

Roughly three hundred parents attended today's Title One Educational Summit.  They took part in 30 different breakout sessions.

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