December 13, 2021
More than 50 families participated in Struthers Elementary School’s annual Title 1 Math/Literacy Night in November.
The event welcomed Struthers first and second grade students with their families for an evening of activities to build math and literacy skills. With the help of eight student volunteers from the Struthers High School Future Teachers Club, the students and their families were checked in, given a schedule of activities, and provided a ticket to enter the evening’s learning games give-away at the end of the event.
Each student had the opportunity to participate in four activities throughout the evening. Students enjoyed an interactive read-aloud with Mrs. Serenko and math activities with Mrs. Zetts, the Elementary’s Math Coach, along with some of Struthers’ first grade teachers.
Mrs. Horvath, Literacy Coach at SES, presented literacy tips for each grade level. These conversations helped parents understand what is considered grade-level, from decodable text to reinforce sounds in first grade to vocabulary, knowledge-building and engagement in second grade reading activities. She provided resources for families to discover activities and new stories, along with tips to support students as they practice and develop their skills.
Ashley Mariano, Prevention Coordinator and the Family and Community Partnership Liaison from the district’s partner at the ESC of Eastern Ohio (formerly Mahoning County ESC), introduced parents and caregivers to the PAX program.
Struthers Elementary School has implemented the PAX program, which is geared towards creating nurturing classrooms, helping educators leverage more on task time for learning, and helping students build their capacity for self management. The approach is twofold- through district staff and community (including parents and caregivers).
“Struthers is really moving forward with great momentum,” says Mariano, explaining the extent of PAX training in the district. All Struthers Elementary staff are trained in PAX. In October, the district’s bus drivers were trained in the Community Tools, a second level to this prevention program providing a focus on low emotional response, limiting problematic behavior, and increasing prosocial behavior.
Mariano shared the science and benefits of the PAX program with families during Title Night, asking parents and caregivers to save the date for the district’s PAX Community Tools training that will be occurring in January, giving these individuals insights and tools to expand this support into the home.
Mrs. Angelilli and Mrs. Murphy hosted snack time in the cafeteria. 18 lucky winners went home with learning activities and games.
“It’s our hope that bringing students and their families into the building for events like this makes them feel more comfortable with the school setting and gives them a chance to ask questions that might come up,” says Horvath. “We are thankful to have so many families who want to know the best way to support learning at home, and hope that events like this foster a rapport where home to school communication can flourish.”
“We are grateful to the staff, the high school student volunteers, and our administration for their time and support in planning and hosting this event,” says Horvath. “Building this partnership in education with families will create an environment that will help students thrive.”