'Give Me Five' Initiative Boosts Parent Involvement in Schools - WSET.com - ABC13

'Give Me Five' Initiative Boosts Parent Involvement in Schools

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Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg City School Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand is trying to show parents easier ways to help them get involved in their children's school.

Brabrand has rolled out a new initiative called "Give Me Five". It's a new symbol being used to motivate parents to chip in. It's plastered on the walls, hanging with school mascots.

"Give me Five" is changing how parents view school involvement.

"It doesn't have to be that 30 minutes, that hour or that day long volunteer job that it used to be," said Karen Nelson, principal at Perrymont Elementary School.

You don't have to know hard math problems or understand all of the homework to participate in this program. It's as simple as taking five minutes of your time, taking five more hours to help out at your kids' school, or giving $5 to a Parent Teacher Organization.

The initiative also encourages parents to take five more classes beyond high school. Parents who have taken the challenge say the payback is more motivated and happier kids.

"When I did start coming, she enjoyed school more. We could have a conversation. I could know who the children are in her class when she would mention them by name," said Tammi Jacob, president of PTO.

Give me Five" is a school-wide initiative, and schools like Perrymont Elementary are already seeing a difference.

"We're seeing an improvement or an increase in parent involvement already. Just people coming up, spending time, visiting the classroom, and going to lunch with their kids," said Nelson.

More than 50 parents signed up for the Parent Teacher Organization at the start of the school year, the most Nelson has seen in a long time.

"All of that sends a powerful message to your child that says, 'I care about how you are doing in school and that this is important and this is your job,'" said Nelson.

This is part of the superintendent's plan to improve school culture by creating a sense of community.

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