National Parental Involvement Day is observed on the third Thursday in November; it’s a chance to celebrate the invaluable contributions of parents, grandparents, and other caregiver adults in your students’ lives. This day also provides an opportunity to build strong partnerships between schools, families, and communities, emphasizing collaboration and teamwork for the holistic development of students. This blog post explores simple and meaningful ways to celebrate National Parental Involvement Day in your classroom and promote inclusivity.
Below are some suggestions for celebrating National Parental Involvement Day in your classroom. I also recognize that the feasibility of these activities may vary depending on the school’s policies, existing programs, and the availability of resources. I will provide you with a springboard of ideas, and you can decide what activities best suit your classroom and its unique circumstances.
- Welcome Parents for Morning Greetings: Invite parents to join your morning routine. This might include joining a morning meeting or supporting students during a morning warmup. This provides a warm and inclusive start to the day.
- Mystery Readers: Here’s a twist to having parents volunteer as guest readers. Encourage parents to sign up to come and read during November. Before each Mystery Reader’s visit, have them provide clues about their identity. Share these clues with the students, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement. Students can try to guess which parent or caregiver is the Mystery Reader for the day. This surprise element adds extra fun and engagement to the reading experience.
- Share Family Traditions: Provide time during a morning meeting or something similar where students can share their family traditions, stories, or artifacts. This can be a show-and-tell activity, allowing students to explain the significance of these stories or items.
- Gratitude Cards: Choose a digital platform or application suitable for creating and sharing digital cards, like Google Slides (reviewed here) or Canva (reviewed here). Have students create cards to express gratitude to their parents and caregivers for their support.
In addition to providing time to celebrate this day, you will want to be mindful of the students who may not have traditional parent structures. It’s important to be inclusive and sensitive to diverse family structures. Here are some ways to ensure inclusivity:
- Use Inclusive Language: When communicating about the event, use inclusive language, recognizing that not all students have traditional family structures. Avoid assuming that every student has two parents.
- Recognize All Caregivers: Encourage the involvement of all caregivers, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, and other significant adults in a child’s life. Highlight the diverse ways in which families provide support.
- Flexible Scheduling: Consider varying events’ timing to accommodate work schedules and family commitments. This can help ensure that as many caregivers as possible can participate.
- Storytelling and Literature: Choose books and stories that celebrate different family structures and relationships. This can help students feel represented and valued. Below are a few books to consider:
- The Family Book by Todd Parr
- The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
- Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
This blog post has provided insights and ideas on celebrating National Parental Involvement Day and promoting inclusivity in your classroom. As you continue strengthening the connection between educators, students, and parents or caregivers, I want to share additional resources to support your journey toward building a more inclusive and collaborative educational community.
- Project Appleseed: Explore this website to find a wealth of resources and information on National Parental Involvement Day.
- National Education Association (NEA): NEA provides tools and guides for educators to promote family engagement.
- The Power of Parent Involvement: This blog offers strategies and resources for educators to foster family engagement and develop strong partnerships with parents and caregivers.
- Practical (and easy) Tips for Communicating with Parents: This blog post offers practical suggestions, technology tools, and insights to enhance parent-teacher communication and engagement for the benefit of students.
Do you have additional ideas, tips, or experiences celebrating National Parental Involvement Day? Feel free to share your thoughts and insights in the comments below!