Youth and adult services in Arbuckle teamed up with the school district to offer a new event where parents and caregivers can talk about the challenges and victories of raising successful students. The first Parent Cafe was held Sept. 17 by First 5 Colusa, Pierce Joint Unified School District, and Arbuckle Family Action Center.
The evening opened with the facilitators introducing themselves by job title and then disclosing their parental status, letting attendees know they were among kindred spirits.
“I think parental involvement is so important,” said Barbara Bair, member of the PJUSD school board and parent. “I came tonight just to see who is showing up, what concerns they have, and trying to make sure that we make it welcoming and inclusive. We want (parent) involvement.”
Childcare was provided so parents could give their full attention to discuss in small groups the three main topics: how to help students succeed, how to get students a better night’s sleep, and how to get students to eat healthy meals.
“We discussed that these were all topics that everybody has in common, K through 12th grade,” said Cathy Lopez, intervention prevention specialist for PJUSD. “I think it’s important that everybody feels supported and nobody is alone in this journey.”
Markers and paper were provided for brainstorming as parents discussed what worked for them, as well as acting as a sounding board for concerns parents were facing.
Wanting to get personal connections, local service groups hosted the event to open a dialogue.
“So much more is based on technology,” said Lopez. “That’s why we thought it was important to have those conversations.”
Future cafe dates for PJUSD families are tentatively set for Nov. 19, Feb. 11, and April 7, starting at 6 PM. Call the Arbuckle Family Action Center at (530) 476-0822 to register. ■