Guilford Parent Academy Reaches 20,000 Parents

Across Guilford County Schools (GCS), 20,000 parents are now more informed, engaged and connected to resources available that can help them help their children achieve more success in the classroom and beyond.

Guilford Parent Academy hit a new milestone of reaching 20,000 parents since the initiative launched in 2011.

Planned by parents and a diverse team of educators and community members, Guilford Parent Academy provides information and resources on a variety of relevant topics for parents, grandparents and family members caring for children and young people in Guilford County. The academy uses a number of strategies to reach parents, including free workshops and events on topics such as planning for college, helping with homework, bullying and staying healthy. Additionally, parents can help their students improve reading skills, build vocabulary, practice math problems and explain complex topics by accessing Parent Academy's online learning resources. The resources include content for pre-K through 12th grade.

In the last two years, Guilford Parent Academy has also accomplished the following:

  • Partnered with more than 70 community organizations and businesses that share information, facilitate and host events and provide other in-kind/financial resources.
  • Secured approximately $2. 9 million in monetary and in-kind donations including $650,000 in startup costs donated by Businesses for Excellence in Education.
  • Awarded schools across the district with $39,975 in grants from Cone Health Foundation and the DanPaul Foundation.
  • Hosted 433 total workshops and events.
  • Offered Parent Academy on the Go workshops at six different places of business, bringing workshops directly to parents at work during lunch hours and breaks.
  • Hosted two family events including Family Fun Day, where 5,000 people visited the YMCA's Camp Weaver and participated in free activities that included swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, climbing and other outdoor games. The next GCS Family Fun Day is slated for May 18, 2013 at Camp Weaver.
  • Added additional online resources, including Connect with Kids WebSource , a website with content on social and emotional topics ranging from bullying prevention, building resilience and substance abuse to life skills, character development and making healthy choices. Students and parents can also explore what careers are suited best for them and connect with career coaches through Futures for Kids .

"We know students do better in school and in life when parents are actively involved in supporting their education," said GCS Superintendent Maurice "Mo" Green. "We are excited to build on the success of Guilford Parent Academy and continue supporting parents-our students' first and most important teachers."

Given the success of Guilford Parent Academy, GCS continues to make parent involvement a priority for the district and included multiple initiatives in the Strategic Plan 2016 to expand the program, including adding additional digital and broadcast content, developing mobile checkout labs of tablet-style devices for parents and expanding Guilford Parent Academy On the Go.

These programs will be supported by the $1.9 million supplemental grant award the district received for Parent Academy as part of the $35.2 million Race to the Top-District (RTTT-D) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.