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Parents, grandparents join students at St. John Parish Public Schools

RESERVE — St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools recently welcomed parents and grandparents to their campuses for National Parent Involvement Day.

The annual event is an opportunity for schools and families to honor and highlight the powerful contributions parents and other caregivers provide at school and home to support student success.

“Parental involvement is key to educating our children,” Fifth Ward Elementary School Principal Drenean Brown said. “It takes strong school and family relationships to foster student achievement. Research shows that family engagement in schools improve student achievement, reduces absenteeism, and restores parents’ confidence in their children’s education.”

St. John the Baptist Parish School Board member Philip Johnson enjoys lunch with his grandson, Fifth Ward Elementary School pre-k student Carter Butler, during the school’s lunch for grandparents.

Fifth Ward celebrated its moms and dads with muffins and doughnuts for breakfast. Grandparents were celebrated at lunchtime, when they joined their grandchildren in the cafeteria.

“I believe the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child,” Brown said. “I’m so happy with the support our Panther Families have shown our school this year. It is important for us to reciprocate their support with showing our parents and grandparents how much we appreciate them.”

Other schools provided a variety of events for parents.

LaPlace and Lake Pontchartrain elementaries took advantage of the nice weather to host picnics outside for parents and students.

Pleshette Porter enjoys a picnic on the front lawn of LaPlace Elementary School with her daughter, Connealla Porter.

Pleshette Porter, parent of two students at LaPlace Elementary, said she thought it was a good idea to bring parents and students together at the school.

“I enjoyed coming out, taking off and spending time with my family,” she said. “Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t do that.”

Her oldest daughter, Connealla Porter, agreed.

“I think it’s great because sometimes during the week everybody has school, after-school activities, homework, we have to take care of pets…” she said. “This way we can have some calm time together.”

Garyville-Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet School provided refreshments and then allowed parents to go back to their children’s classrooms, where they were presented with thank-you cards from students.

The St. John Child Development Center offered parents coffee and doughnuts in the morning, while St. John Alternative School also offered parents doughnuts before inviting them to visit classrooms.

West St. John High School parents also got to visit classrooms before enjoying lunch with their children. East St. John High School parents packed the cafeteria for its National Parent Involvement Day activities.

West St. John Elementary got its parents engaged in daily activities, from reading to students and working with them in the library to helping out with other daily tasks.

Assistant Principal Melissa Green said she was surprised to see the parents excited about a job many teachers dread — morning bus duty.

“The dads were so excited,” Green said. “One dad was telling another, ‘Go get your badge! We’ve got duty!’ We may need to get them out here every day.”