Family U partners parents and district in students’ education

Parenting a child in 2023 is no easy task; but Alief ISD is ready with help. One of the most important resources on the parenting journey is Alief Family U, which was held on March 25 from 8 AM to 3:30 PM at the Center for Talent Development.

For more than a decade, Alief has partnered with parents and families in Family U, a one-day conference to aid Alief residents, equipping them with tools to care for their children and themselves. This year’s face-to-face event offered a variety of topics and information from Alief staff and guest speakers.

“Alief families will be equipped with tools to aide them in their parenting journey, no matter the age of their child,” said Shanceler Terry, coordinator of Alief’s Family and Community Engagement, in an interview prior to the conference. “Families will be able to build their skills that will lend to building stronger homes and stronger children.”

Family U started in 2010 as a way to strengthen bonds between schools and families. Noting that children spend much of their time at home, Terry said families have a vital role to play in their students’ education.

“…It is critical that our family efficacy levels are built, and that they feel confident to assist their children academically and emotionally. Over the years, we have witnessed families utilizing the information gained to walk with their children and partner with the school along their child’s educational journey. “

This year’s event included sessions on “All-Pro Dads,” fathers and father-figures who provide a vital role in nurturing children’s growth; understanding how domestic violence impacts children; providing opportunities for creativity and exploration in fine arts and Career and Technical education; understanding the needs of children with dyslexia and executive function disorders; and even sessions on self-care for parents as they take care of children.

“Yes, our families are parents, but they are individuals as well.  So we want to ensure sessions such as ‘Fill Your Bucket’ are offered to help parents and caregivers take care of themselves, before taking care of their children,” Terry said. “This is key for their longevity as parents, and also key for modeling self-care to our students.”

Each year sessions are provided for families with children at all grade levels, from pre-K to grade 12. Childcare is provided, and food, performances, prizes and entertainment are part of the program.

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