We have been working for a couple of years now in QPI on effectively engaging the fathers of our middle eastern preschoolers in learning how to support their students early school experiences and readiness for kindergarten. Our preschool community liaison, Firas Alnaqeeb, had an idea. Why not offer the literacy workshop provided by SDCOE/QPI, a meal, childcare and a soccer match? His first attempt on a week day afternoon was somewhat successful; however, input from dads was “we will come for a Saturday workshop”. We got permission to use the Lexington field on a Saturday morning, Firas ordered middle eastern food instead of pizza and got the word out to our preschool dads at Lexington, Chase, Anza and Meridian. There have been 3 very successful Saturday workshops since the initial weekday workshop. At this last workshop, 29 adults attended and 30 children. More moms are also attending now.
This great video from Firas puts a picture to all that I am trying to describe. It demonstrates how successful parent engagement can be when you hit the right combination: know your audience, listen and meet parents where they are.
It also helps to collaborate with colleagues and other district departments. A big thank you to the following supporters:
SDCOE/QPI Office for providing support and training on the early literacy “Let’s Read Together” curriculum (which Firas and Graciela, our other liaison, attended), providing all the materials and the featured book to give away.
Jeremy Lyche who made sure we had access to the field on Saturday mornings.
Eyal and the FACE office team for supporting Firas in his efforts and covering some of the additional costs – including additional parent incentives.
The CSPP office staff for helping secure child care.
Maxine Willey for always making sure everything was ready and who facilitated behind the scenes so Firas could concentrate on delivering the workshops.
We can do great things with teamwork and combining resources!