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Media Releases: November 6, 2009

Be There Family Involvement Campaign

View the agenda for the Be There press conference which will be held at 9am on November 6, 2009, behind the Duval County School Board Administration Building at 1701 Prudential Drive.
Left to right: Ben Wortham (Clay County Schools Superintendent), Dr. Joseph Joyner (St. Johns County Schools Superintendent) and Ed Pratt-Dannals (Duval County Schools Superintendent)

Left to right: Ben Wortham (Clay County Schools Superintendent), Annette Worthen (President of Duval County Council of PTAs), Dr. Joseph Joyner (St. Johns County Schools Superintendent), Ed Pratt-Dannals (Duval County Schools Superintendent), Eric Piedlow (Domino's Pizza Franchisee) and Colleen Wood (SJC Schools volunteer and Founder of 50th No More)
Jacksonville, FL - Earlier today, Clay County District Schools’ Superintendent Ben Wortham, Duval County Public Schools’ Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals and St. Johns County School District Superintendent Joseph Joyner joined together to launch Be There, a national multimedia campaign designed to inspire parents to become involved in their children’s lives.
"It is so very important for all of us to "be there" for our children," said Superintendent Ben Wortham. "We can do this by making their home environment an extension of the classroom."
The campaign uses the media to deliver simple messages, touching photographs and personal stories to inspire parents to "be there" for their children during everyday moments in life. Its goals are to improve student achievement through increased family involvement, support educators by making it easier for parents to become effective partners and show families that simple connections with children make a difference.
"Research has shown that there is a direct relationship between student success and a consistent, positive relationship with parents," said Superintendent Pratt-Dannals. "Parental involvement in our schools is essential, and the Be There campaign is an additional tool to ensure academic achievement."
One hundred percent of the research studies compiled by The Parent Institute* indicate that parent involvement has a significant impact on student success. The statistics show that with as little as a one-third increase in parent participation, school achievement scores increase dramatically.
"Parent involvement makes a huge difference in academic achievement," said Dr. Joseph Joyner, Superintendent of St. Johns County Schools. "I'm convinced part of the reason our students have performed so well is directly related to the tremendous contribution our parents make to our schools. The Be There campaign will help make more parents aware of how important they are to the educational success of their children."

Here are six key research facts from some of the most important research findings: (Reprinted with permission from The Parent Institute.)
1. The family provides the child's primary educational environment.
2. Involving parents in their children's formal education improves student achievement.
3. High scoring schools and districts have high levels of parent involvement.
4. The benefits last a lifetime, and they are not confined to early childhood or the elementary level; there are strong effects from involving parents continuously through middle and high school.
5. Minorities have the most to gain. Children from low-income and minority families benefit greatly when schools involve parents.
6. School and home are connected. We cannot look at the school and the home in isolation from one another; we must see how they interconnect with each other and with the world at large.
While this is not new data, it suggests that "old ways" of engaging parents are not working. The research clearly demonstrates that our children are depending on us to achieve their full potential.
Educators, administrators and parents are excited about the potential of Be There and the difference it will make for children across the country. Corporations are offering their support because this has an impact beyond family life, beyond school, and beyond the community.
Public schools in all three counties will display posters with the Be There message and WJXT-4 Television will be featuring local stories as part of a series of public service announcements supporting the Be There campaign. Through a business partnership with Domino’s Pizza®, the printing of campaign materials has also been provided free of charge to all three districts. Voss & Associates, a full-service marketing and public relations agency, produces the campaign materials and localizes them free of charge.

Last Modified: Nov 18, 2009