Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/5/2014 (2042 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When my three children were growing up, my wife and I did our best to get involved in their education.
Whether it was helping with tricky math problems or volunteering at the school, we tried to make a real difference by providing support and guidance to our kids.
Study after study shows that children perform better academically when parents are active in their children’s school. Moreover, schools are strongest when parents are involved and often, it is the hard work of a parent advisory council that gets a new initiative up and running.
Our government recently passed legislation that amplifies the voice parents have in our schools. The new rules will ensure that principals consult with their school’s parent advisory council when preparing the annual school plan. Principals will have to inform parents about the role and function of the council and how they may become a member.
The new legislation also recognized the Manitoba Association of Parent Councils (MAPC) as the official voice of parents in schools across Manitoba. I was thrilled to attend MAPC’s annual meeting last month where Jean Altemeyer, a volunteer at École Riverview School Parent Advisory Council, was awarded the Judy Aiken Memorial Award. Jean has been involved with the parent council for six years. This award is in recognition of her incredible dedication and service to the community.
École Riverview School is fortunate to have many volunteers on their parent council who match Jean’s enthusiasm. In recent years, the council has successfully advocated and fundraised for a new play structure, SmartBoards in the classrooms, a pull-down screen for school-wide events in the gym, many staff appreciation activities, and a Before, Lunch and After School Program.
Not surprisingly, Fort Garry — Riverview is blessed with active parent advisory councils at schools across the constituency. While many are busy providing lunch programs and student support services, others are focused on creating "outdoor classrooms" by remodelling playgrounds to promote environmental education and active living.
I want to thank all parents who participate on parent advisory councils. Your participation, energy, and commitment are deeply appreciated. By contributing to the school, you also make our neighbourhoods stronger, safer, and more sustainable. And for those of you who have not had the chance to participate, please contact your local parent advisory council to get involved. You’ll find it eminently worthwhile and greatly rewarding!
We worked with MAPC to ensure that this legislation would empower parent councils to do more for their children’s schools.
If you have any questions about our parent council legislation, or how you can get involved in your community school, you can contact me at 204-475-2270 or at James.Allum@yourmanitoba.ca
Fort Garry-Riverview constituency report
James Allum is the NDP MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview.