Parenting often requires feats of strength, both mental and physical. A recent parent recognition day at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) acknowledged that and more with its superhero-themed “Embracing Communities Creates Powerful Families” event.
Formally known as Family Service and Leadership Appreciation Day, the event celebrates family engagement for parents and guardians of students in SDCOE’s Momentum Learning schools, which serve students in court and community schools as well as Monarch School and San Pasqual Academy. The ninth annual event, held June 20, featured workshops, lectures, inspirational speakers, as well as food, fun, and an awards presentation.
“Your assignment is to be there for your children,” said Cynthia Burton, a Momentum Learning family involvement specialist who leads a team of parent and family liaisons, told the more than three dozen parents and guardians in attendance. “We see how committed you are to your children and their success.”
Several Momentum Learning leaders shared their gratitude for the parents who attend trainings, meetings, and workshops throughout the year, adding that it helped them make a greater impact in their work.
“Thank you so much for being so dedicated, for coming to all of the events,” said Jessica McCreary, interim executive director of Momentum Learning. “It’s been great to see how you’ve been consistently coming to advocate for all the students. When I go to meetings, when I make decisions, I see your faces reminding me of what’s important for kids.”
Parent of the Year Awards were presented to Sylvia Arreguin, Maria Bojorquez, Amanuel Hailemariam, and Heather Jaehn.
“There’s no words for the level of gratitude I have for (the parent and family liaisons), for helping my son help me be a better parent,” said Jaehn, a community school parent who was honored as Restorative Practices parent of the year.
Burton said her team hosted about 20 different opportunities for family engagement during the past school year, including open houses, school site council meetings, workshops, Restorative Practices trainings, Local Control and Accountability Plan meetings, and more. Every parent or guardian attending the celebration received a certificate for their commitment to involvement, and the parents who received the top award participated in nearly every activity over the school year.