“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull
I don’t think it’s any secret that we love serving at Escuela Especial. Every single one of the 83 students will put a smile on even the grumpiest of faces. The teachers love, give, serve and teach with passion and heart. And being that it’s the only all-inclusive special needs school within a 2 hours radius, makes it unique.
Over the last two years or so we’ve been working on building a relationship with staff and students and seeing how we can best serve. From teacher training's to being the handyman to therapy with the kids, we do a little bit of everything. With your help we're also able to provide school supplies and uniforms for the students.
After the start of this school year in February, we began talking about ways we could continue to help provide these basic school necessities but still empower families to be a part in providing them for their children. We want children to see their parents providing for them and not just receiving a handout. We also want to get to know the families of the students we love so dearly, invest in them and share the gospel with them. So, what do you get when you combine all those wants?
This week we kicked off a new parent partnership program! Over this school year we are going to host parent workshops, covering various topics and always sharing the gospel. We are also encouraging parents to volunteer at the school, cutting the grass, assisting in the classroom, washing windows, etc.. With participation in these activities, parents will earn Cultivate Life “bucks.” Next January, during school enrollment, we will set up a “store” with school supplies, uniforms and hopefully much more for parents to come shop using the “bucks” that they have earned throughout the year. We get the opportunity to minister to families, they get to help the teachers and parents can earn everything they need for their child for school!
We started our first parent workshop by having a local pastor come and share about family values, the importance of family and God’s design for family. It was beautiful and I was almost in tears thinking about the 3 blessings God has entrusted us with. He shared about how the family is the foundation; when we have healthy families, it will be reflected, and we will have healthy communities, healthy states and healthy countries! We were sitting in the back so we really couldn’t see the reaction of the parents during, but afterwards we asked a few questions for prizes and the responses were proof that they were soaking it all in.
We set-up an example store and explained the idea of the program. Everyone has something to give; time, resources, talents, something. At first, I wasn’t sure if they were understanding or maybe I was saying something incorrectly, but then when questions like “is there a limit to how often we can volunteer” and “when is the next workshop” were asked, I knew they were getting excited about working together!
We are so excited to have this time with families and to see how they get involved in the school! If you would like to get involved by stocking our “store” you can give online or host a school supply donation drive. Please be in prayer for all the families of Escuela Especial and for the effectiveness of our parent partnership program!