Hey! Where’s MY Parent Involvement Award?

majestic_aI’m jealous. Our state department of education is partnering with our cable provider to dole out the Comcast Parent Involvement Matter Awards to parents (and those with legal responsibility for a child) “who have had a positive impact on public schools and to encourage all parents to get involved in whatever ways they can.” And I’m wondering how come parents who cough up a few hours/week from September to June get acknowledged? And homeschoolers get ridiculed?

Last year’s state winner brought a specialized, multi-sensory teaching-learning strategy, The Association Method, found to be successful for language-deficient children, to her child’s school and county. And for that I give her great credit. But outta the other side of my mouth, I wanna know why the paid educators were not aware of/had never considered using the DuBard’s method (developed in the 1960s?) Home educators have to come up with a lot more ideas than that every year.

Look, don’t get me wrong. As one who served as PTA Fundraising Chair when M was in first grade, I KNOW how hard some parents work to help their kids’ school. I spent alot more than a few hours/week up there distributing chocolates and chachkas, running Basket Bingos and Back-to-School Nights and making sure every teacher had funds for field trips and classroom supplies. So, yeah, a “Thank You” goes a long way.

When I read that now there’s a nomination process, award ceremony and cash prizes, I’ve got to wonder if any of that pomp and circumstance really motivates a parent to do one iota more than she was gonna do anyway. And if so, is that reward system (the same one used on their children) really the mindset we want to perpetuate? What happened to doing the best we can for our children simply because they’re our children?

Okay, that $1K statewide prize would make a “Thank You” go even further.

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