By Tina Jenkins Bell
BAPA School Liaison
January is the time when we take out pad and pen or open a new document to make resolutions or plot out goals for the new year. Wrapped up in introspection, we promise ourselves this year will be different, and we will do more of this and less of that.
You may be happy to know the last few years of COVID captivity and public health protections may have left us with a cheat sheet, particularly as relates to interacting with school age children. Here are a few things we had to do during the pandemic that we might continue in 2022.
Continue to eat dinner as a family. Our kids survived the pandemic, but not without a few challenges. Dinner time is an excellent time for youth to share what’s on their minds, from achievements to academic and mental health challenges.
Maintain your position as a co-teacher. According to Education Week’s “Pandemic Parents Are More Engaged…,” parents now feel more comfortable helping kids with schoolwork and better understand what goes on at their child’s school. Of course, ways to further enhance knowledge are to join parent groups and read school newsletters and other communications.
Continue to communicate. The same Education Week article also saw more parents communicating with the schools with a greater focus on learning needs and outcomes.
Please Stay Pledge
Speaking of ways to monitor a child’s mental health needs or disposition, Chicago Public Schools has an online survey parents can complete with their children. No matter where your child attends school — public or private — the Please Stay Pledge is accessible at cps.edu/sites/please-stay/.
MPA Hosts Visiting Author
Morgan Park Academy 3rd graders were recently excited to welcome a visit by Dr. Eve L. Ewing, author of the book they’re reading, “Maya and the Robot.”
Ewing, a sociologist of education and award-winning author, talked with students about life as writer, answered questions about “Maya” and her work for Marvel Comics, and led students in a group writing exercise to create their own story about Rosie, a 9-year-old in Paris who has to overcome her fear when zombies attack her ice cream shop.
A Chicago native, Ewing is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and is the author of four books, including the poetry collections “Electric Arches” and “1919,” and the nonfiction work, “Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side.”
Help A Student Out
It’s tax time, and the Archdiocese of Chicago wants to remind those of you who can to donate to the tax credit scholarships. For more information, visit archdiocese.org/DonateTCS or mytax.illinois.gov.