In September, PS 346 held their third annual “Dads Bring Your Child to School Day,” which has been a successful and fun experience for both parents and children. The event was first created by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services to help encourage fathers or other male caregivers to become more involved in their children’s lives and education.
Many of the mothers and female figures at PS 346 applauded the event, and thought that mothers should be honored in the same way, said Principal Kevin Caifa. It was through the parent’s and staff’s suggestion, that Caifa decided to host the very first “Moms Bring Your Child to School” event. “The turnout was unbelievable. It’s great to have both our mothers and fathers focused on the importance of their children’s education,” he said.
Jennifer Kersay, a mother of a nine-year-old son, enjoyed the event. “It is often assumed that mothers are the main caregivers for children, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be honored for all that they do. It was nice to be acknowledged for all we do,” she said. Kersay is a very busy mother, who takes care of her son and also attends college. Sitting down and having breakfast with her son is a treat that only happens on the weekends. “It was nice to have breakfast with my son and his friends.”
Roxanne Thomas was glad that mothers were being honored at the event. Although she applauds the “Dads Bring Your Child to School Day,” she believed that a similar mother’s event was needed. “I’m usually in a rush in the morning; all I can do is drink a cup of coffee while my daughter eats her breakfast. It was nice to not rush and just be in the moment with my daughter.”
Marguerite Williams always takes her children to school, but it’s usually an occasion that is hectic and rushed. With a 14-year-old and ten-year-old, sitting down to enjoy breakfast is hard, so Williams felt that the event gave mothers the opportunity to enjoy those brief family moments with their children. “It was a nice change, and I was able to speak to my daughter’s friends too,” said Williams.
Pajama Night Reading Program
On October 27, PS 346 held its annual pajama night literacy celebration. The event is one of many innovative goals created by the faculty to help encourage their students to read more. Throughout the school year, the faculty develops creative and fun reading activities for students and parents to get involved in, such as “Character Day” where students dress up like their favorite literary characters and discuss the book with the class.
Pajama night took place at six pm, when everyone came to school dressed in their most comfortable sleeping attire. The activity helped reinforce a routine that parents should partake in at night just before bed, which is reading to your children. The students and their parents gathered in their individual classrooms and sat down on the floor, almost like they were having an indoor camping trip, and listened to their teachers read.
Principal Kevin Caifa was astounded by the continuous parental support and participation. “Just when we thought we couldn’t top our parent’s involvement, we once again were thrilled when over 240 boys and girls showed up at our yearly Pajama Night Reading Program. Over 30 staff members were there to greet the children and read them their favorite stories.”
Caifa added that he owed much of the success to his staff, “A special thank you goes out to both our outgoing Parent Coordinator (Ms. Joan Charles) and our new Parent Coordinator (Ms. Hawker) for making this a night to remember!” Photos courtesy of PS 346