Vincent Elementary hosts parties for parents

When Vincent Elementary School administrators noticed parental involvement with the school was inconsistent, they decided to come up with a fun way to keep parents in the loop.

From there, the school decided to adopt the Parent Parties program.

Vincent Elementary counselor Melba Holloway said in the Parent Parties program, parents gather to celebrate education, not just discuss it.

“We just wanted to find a new medium to deliver information to the parents, so we’re just doing these parties,” she said. “It’s just a really fun, light-hearted approach to staying involved at school.”

At the parties, the parents have refreshments, play games and win prizes while both speaking with school administrators and teachers and making connections with other parents.

“The theme of the Parent Parties is ‘No More Boring Meetings,’” Holloway said.

The parties are a hit. At the first Parent Party, held Sept. 10, 54 parents showed up. Many of those parents ended up taking the opportunity to sign up to volunteer at the school.

Holloway said volunteerism is a big talking point at Parent Parties. At the next party Oct. 22, administrators will work with parents to start a formal parent volunteer organization.

The parties are usually held in the Vincent Elementary media center.

The parties are not intended to replace parent-teacher conferences, Holloway said.

She said Vincent Elementary officials are hoping parents use the parties as an opportunity to get more involved with their children’s educations.

“We want parents to follow their students’ education from kindergarten through fifth grade, and stay involved all those years and feel comfortable at the school,” Holloway said. “It’s just to be able to make connections with the teachers and the other parents.”

Second Mile Parenting Initiative, a non-profit organization in Huntsville, created the Parent Parties program. For more information, visit the Web site at Parentparties.com or call Melba Holloway at 682-7320.