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How does your organization serve the Westfield Washington Township community?Parent University is a link between home and school, aiming to engage, educate, and equip families with the necessary tools to successfully navigate the WWS educational experience.
Tell us about the history of the organization.WWS Parent University was created in support of the WWS Strategic Plan under the priority area of Family and Community Engagement: cultivating positive relationships leading to student success. The idea of Parent University was first brought to the attention of WWS by Zoretta Ward-Holloway. Through her study, she suggested stronger bonds between school, parents, and their community will result in stronger, healthier students. In 2018, WWS Parent University was launched to connect the needs of our community using workshops, social media, and a website.
Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out?Our Back-To-School Parent Workshops have been successful in helping us connect with Westfield families. This particular workshop offers our families (new and old) an opportunity to learn about programs, resources, and district initiatives for the year.
What is the biggest challenge you face?We are all busy. As a parent of four very active children, I know how hard it is to make sure all of their needs are met, keep them safe, and challenge them to be making the most of every opportunity. WWS Parent University was created with this in mind. You can visit our website and find articles and information about current opportunities and challenges specific to our Westfield families. You can “like” our Facebook page and receive notifications about programs and resources. You can attend a workshop and visit in person with someone from WWS who is working to ensure the growth of your student socially, emotionally, and academically.
What is the biggest success you have seen?Launching Parent University! Our schools do an excellent job with our students and families by providing rigorous and engaging experiences preparing our children-socially, emotionally, and academically for their future. WWS Parent University assists our parents in linking them to resources, articles, and examples that support the development of their students.
Do you have a need for volunteers or donations?Yes, to-date WWS Parent University has been solely funded by donations. Hosting workshops and speakers does come at a price, such as the fee paid for viewing rights of the film Screenagers. Screenagers and Screenagers - The Next Chapter focused on the social-emotional impact technology brings to our students. Technology is moving at a rapid pace and this film allowed us to share with parents and students how technology can be a positive tool if a balance is found.
If so, please let us know how we can help?Westfield can help support WWS Parent University by getting connected. Connecting via our website, Facebook, or Twitter will keep you informed about programs, resources, and opportunities. A great example is the new app, Purposity. We encourage you to download the app Purposity and select Westfield Washington Schools. The Purposity app supports the goal of WWS Parent University connecting our students and families with resources. Purpose + Generosity = Purposity. Working with the WWS School Counselors, Westfield Youth Assistance, Student Impact, and the Washington Township Trustee’s Office, we are able to identify a need or purpose that supports a student/ family and connect them with donors.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?Through the app Purposity, you will be amazed at how easy it is to make a difference in under a minute. Each week new needs are posted. From the app, you can read about the needs posted, select to meet a need, and enter payment. Once the need is met this item is purchased via Purposity, removed from the list, and shipped to WWS Central Office. The process allows the student/family and donor anonymity at all times. You could give once a month and no one will know who you are. Each need comes with a short story that allows you to align with your giving heartstring.
What’s Next?Stay tuned for the 2020 Back-To-School in August before school starts! This workshop is for both incoming and existing families to provide information on new school-based programs and opportunities. Families will have the chance to learn about programs specific to their student’s needs and school-wide initiatives.