At Cherry Run Elementary School,
counselor Ellie O'Meara, principal Peggy Klise, and PTA president
Kay Finely teamed up to develop an innovative Parenting Movie
by Diana King
The movies are rated PG for "Parental Guidance"
and moviegoers happily snack on popcorn and soda. It sounds like
a Saturday night at the local movie house down the street. Right?
These moviegoers aren't sitting in the local multiplex. They
are attending a PTA Parenting Movie Matinee at Cherry Run Elementary
School in Burke, VA. Today's feature films include "Sidestepping
the Power Struggle: How to Redirect Your Child's Misbehavior"
and "Growing Up in Video World."
"This year our PTA wanted to find a creative way to address
a variety of parenting education issues with the parents of our
students," explains Kay Finley, president of the Cherry
Run PTA. Finley collaborated with school principal Dr. Peggy
Klise and school counselor Ellie O'Meara to write a proposal
for a $400 grant from the Virginia State PTA to fund the purchase
of parenting education videos.
Counselor O'Meara identified the parenting topics she thought
would be of greatest interest to Cherry Run parents. She selected
programs from the Active Parenting catalog, including the Active
Parenting Today Video Library; "Growing Up in Video
World"; "ADHD: What Can We Do?"; and "The
Parenting Puzzle: The Middle Years."
"We decided to start out by offering a 90-minute matinee
on Thursday afternoons in March. This made it convenient for
parents to watch the videos and then pick up their children after
school," says Finley. The PTA also allows the videos to
be checked out for viewing at home by parents or spouses who
could not attend the matinee.
Finley developed a publicity plan to alert parents to the
video presentations. She promoted the matinees through the PTA
newsletter and several flyers sent home with students.
"The attendance has been good and we have received positive
feedback. There have been many requests for the PTA to offer
this program in the evening next year," says Finley.
"Parent involvement is so important to the success of
our students. The PTA grant made it possible for us to try a
new way of reaching parents. Word-of-mouth publicity after the
first matinee showed that parents liked the casual video format.
They've given this program a 'two thumbs up.'"
Reprinted from Leader magazine.
Copyright 2001 by Active Parenting Publishers, Inc.