By Maria P. Lentz
The success of our children depends on much more than what happens in our schools. Just as important as the lessons taught in the classroom are the lifelong lessons that families teach their children.
With Family Day last week, let’s take a moment to reflect the positive effect of family values have on the lives and the futures of our students and our children. Studies prove that when parents are involved in their child’s education, they have higher aspirations, higher grades, better attendance and they are more positive about school in general. If we look beyond what studies show, we see that parents have the opportunity to build and develop their child’s character and faith. Our families are full of role models — parents, grandparents, siblings — and it’s those people who truly shape our children.
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Schools strives to keep parents involved in the education of their children. St. Augustine School’s parents have always been very supportive when it comes to the education of their children.
The school’s sports teams and extra-curricular activities wouldn’t be able to run without the help of parent volunteers. Both parents and staff log many hours coaching volleyball, basketball, curling and badminton. In addition, they stay involved by scorekeeping, driving teams to games and working behind the scenes with the school’s theatre program.
A group of junior high parents have become involved by leading a year-long program to help prepare students to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Meeting once a month, the group has been led by parent volunteers for the past four years.
The parents who serve on St. Augustine’s School Council are committed to making the school better for students and parents. They report what they are doing for the school in the monthly newsletter and extend an invitation to all parents to come to the School Council meetings. Fundraisers are always directed towards initiatives that assist the school in such things as field trips and contributions towards a new bus. Right now the members of school council and their helpers are in the process of organizing a magician’s presentation for the school.
Parent’s efforts go farther yet. The grounds around the school have undergone a recent facelift thanks to parents and staff volunteers who cleaned up the flower beds and painted and repaired the playground. Working in conjunction with school council, the Friend’s of St. Augustine School Support Foundation, a registered society, is now working towards building an additional playground for the upper elementary students.
In the spirit of Family Day, let’s take the time to recognize and appreciate what our strong family and community does for our children.
Maria P. Lentz is the trustee representing Ponoka with the St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic school division, as well as the board chair. She can be reached at email@example.com.