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jane.hanfman

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Side by Side, Inc.
June 30, 2014

Side by Side is having a great impact on Laurel area schools!
In the 2013-14 school year, we expanded our primarily kindergarten focused series of parent workshops to include families of Grades 1 and 2 students. We have nearly doubled the number of families participating from last year and early data reviews of student assessments given them in reading show that Great Start kids make greater gains than those students whose families do not attend! For the coming school year, we will be adding a series of workshops for parents of county preschool (age 4) students and two of our schools will be additionally be hosts to our Great Start workshop series taught in Spanish.
As a former teacher and paraprofessional in the schools, it is a joy to see parents and teachers truly work together on behalf of their students. I have watched students who have struggled to read become more confident and successful when their parent redoubles the teacher's efforts by learning how to help more at home. Increased communication between home and school has a powerful effect on student effort, success and achievement. "I can't" becomes "I'll try", and "I'll try" becomes "I am" and "I can do this...and more"! It's a win-win for everyone. Stronger families DO build stronger schools-come join us!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get more families to take part in our programs and get more business and corporate support for what we're trying to do to improve our schools!

More feedback

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

MY ROLE:
Board Member

Side by Side, Inc.
November 30, 2012

As a former public school teacher and active volunteer with the faith based non profit, Side by Side, in Laurel, MD schools, I am thrilled to see parents and their children eagerly come to Great Start or Family Academy programs and go home from an evening with ways to work with their children at home, with newfound behavior management strategies, and with a growing respect for the efforts made upon their children's behalf. Class sizes are growing and there are multiple demands upon a teacher's ability to truly connect with a child's family, but at Side by Side, we seize upon opportunities to truly equip parents to be their child's first and best teacher. Children delight in free pizza for dinner and chances to participate in arts, science and literature based enriching and fun activities. Parents enjoy a "no cooking night", the opportunity to connect and share with other parents and and workshops led by school and community leaders. Teachers report greater participation in and support of school based instruction. When children, teachers, school administrators, and faith based community members work together, academic success is surely enhanced!

More feedback

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

MY ROLE:
Board Member