Family Participation Returns
A Monthly Message from Executive Director Deb Green
For many of us, our personal and professional lives are now divided into the things that happened pre-COVID and the things that we identify with now. As we get closer to the 3-year mark of COVID taking such a central place in all of our lives, I am forever cognizant of the changes we have made and of the things we have lost as a community. As we now begin our understanding that COVID is not going away, we also begin our journey of learning to live with COVID and figuring out the ways that we can return to a sense of normalcy that has been lost for nearly 3 years.
Many PIC families know nothing of our former Parent Participation Program (PPP) that was an integral part of our PIC identity. When families enrolled at PIC, they committed to 12 hours per year of parent involvement (6 hours for families in our Afterschool program and for single parent families). There were many opportunities to fulfill this commitment, ranging from board and committee involvement to taking on a classroom room parent role, to coming into the classroom to read stories or share cultural traditions, to coming to a fall or spring Saturday workday, to scheduling a classroom playdate at a local park.
Parents tracked their PPP hours on a link on our website. The goal of the PPP program was always about building a strong community of families that knew one another and created a network of caring for one another and for PIC. Many families came to PIC knowing about our PPP program and often told us that the invitation for involvement was one of the key reasons they hoped to be part of the PIC community.
When COVID arrived, a sense of separation also came. We no longer had opportunities for families to participate in the many ways they were able to do pre-COVID.
We are so excited to now be at a place where we can share that we're launching a "soft start" in bringing back our PPP program, now re-envisioned as our Family Participation Program (FPP).
We will be returning to our family participation tracking via our website as of our next fiscal year (beginning in July). In the meantime, we ask all families to consider ways they may wish to commit time to official PIC participation. Our Board members will be hosting a Get Involved Event this spring and families will have the opportunity to learn more about ways to participate in the FPP program.
Historically, the Family Participation Program was instrumental in building the strong community at PIC that we are so proud of. We are looking forward to the strengthening of community bonds that will enable connections that we know serve as a lifeline for many families of young children.
More information will follow in the upcoming weeks.