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LOU Reads to hold first Parent Academy session this month

The 2019-20 Parent Academy, hosted by LOU Reads, is scheduled to have its first session next week.

The monthly program is designed to help parents of rising kindergarteners, ages 3-5, understand what “kindergarten readiness” means. Parents are shown how to work on kindergarten readiness skills with their children at home.

Parent Academy focuses on topics such as general development, oral language, early reading and writing and math. The program is a partnership between LOU Reads, Barksdale Reading Institute (BRI), Lafayette Lower Elementary and Bramlett Elementary. Teachers and staff from both schools attended training at BRI’s office in Jackson in preparation of hosting this year’s program.

“Last year, we received positive feedback from many families who received valuable information and hands-on activities to work with their children at home,” said Tamara Hillmer, director of early childhood and reading development at Oxford School District.  “We are very excited about offering Parent Academy to the LOU Community for the second year. After reviewing feedback from families last year, we are offering the same session twice a month on different days of the week, in order to accommodate busy family schedules.”

The first session will be held at Bramlett Elementary School on Oct. 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The same session will then be held at Lafayette Lower Elementary School on Oct. 17 at the same time. The same material will be presented at both locations next week and parents are encouraged to select the session that is most accessible to their schedule.

October’s session will focus on general development. Parents will receive hands-on training from teachers and staff as they go over activities designed to encourage the development of basic skills children will need for school success. A new topic will be discussed at each session, held once a month from October to March. There will not be a session in December.

“We want to help build effective support systems for children within their home,” Hillmer said. “We encourage any family member, not just parents, to take part in each monthly session in order to build a strong educational foundation for the children in their family. We also urge early childhood educators within the LOU Community to attend the sessions, as they will gain valuable information to assist in educating their students.”

The program was originally planned for families of four-year-olds; however, any parents of three- or four-year-olds who wish to attend are welcome, according to Hillmer.

Registration is free and all the materials will be provided for parents at each session at no cost. LOU Reads will provide a free meal, limited childcare and door prizes. For more information, visit www.loureads.org/events or contact Hillmer at tlhillmer@oxfordsd.org.