I’ve been working at the Academy of Social Action in Harlem for one year. When the new semester begins, I’ll start on a newsletter I will send out to the parents. I started this as a way to communicate with them and let the parents know what is going on in the school.
In October, we are going to have our “Day of Nations,” where parents bring in different dishes from their native countries. At our school, we have kids from the Dominican Republic, Yemen and we have many parents from Mali. When I need to communicate with them, I use the translation service we have to do conference calls with the parents.
This semester I’m planning some trips with the students, such as visiting museums.
The kids are great, I missed them during the summer.
I’ve reached out to community-based organizations like Creative Connections and Work Force 1 and did a career day at the school to help students who won’t be going to college to get ready for the working world. We also organized a health fair for the parents and a Thanksgiving dinner.
We have a lot of turnaround in the school with teachers and administrators. The parents don’t show up as much as they should to parent-teacher meetings. We have many special-needs kids, and some live in homeless shelters.
This is a challenge, but with our principal, guidance counselors and social workers working together we can make a big difference in the lives of the students and their parents. I’m looking forward to the new semester.