Parent University Showcases Community Involvement in Fulton School District

Two UPK students teach the fourth grade Fairgrieve Glee Club a silly song to perform at Parent University.

FULTON, NY – Despite a slow start in the early Saturday (April 16) morning hours, turnout picked up throughout the day for the second ever Parent University hosted by Fulton City School District and Fulton Community School.

The doors opened at 9 a.m. at Fulton Junior High School to welcome parents, families and students from the Fulton community to the informational Parent University aimed at providing numerous resources to benefit the overall educational experience of all students.

The free event provided ten seminars involving many different members of the Fulton City School District including the Board of Education and touched on subjects of many varieties including parenting strategies, academic assistance and educational requirements.

In its second year, Parent University was proud to introduce Chick Moorman, a renowned educator as the keynote speaker to present on his program, The 5 Commitments: Parenting with a Purpose.

Moorman also provided two additional sessions on effective praise and eliminating bad behavior throughout the day.

One parent in attendance, Heather Renfrew found the keynote presentation to be “really positive.”

Renfrew said that Moorman spoke on a lot of things that are relevant to her life as a mother to two children and that he provided practices that she could use with her children.

She planned to attend a few other sessions as well, including effective praise and literacy games for young children, among others.

As she attended these desired sessions, Renfrew’s six-year-old and eight-year-old were able to utilize the free kids activities that were available in the gymnasium.

“My kids are really enjoying it. They’ve got their bag full of goodies and information from the community agencies that are here and they even got to plant a seed to take home,” she said.

As a first time Parent University attendant, Renfrew described the overall experience as “informative and very positive,” noting that she plans to attend again in years to come.

Renfrew was able to utilize the free transportation as well as the free child care activities that were provided to all members of the public who wished to attend.

She was, however, baffled as to why more people didn’t take advantage of the day and all it had to offer.

“I just think it’s important to utilize these things when they are provided. Our funds are used to host things like this, so I just think it’s important that we show up,” she said.

Executive Director of Instruction and Assessment for the district, Betsy Conners said the day started out slow but as students from UPK and Fairgrieve Glee Club showed up to perform, they ended up staying for the activities as their parents and families attended the sessions and seminars available.

The final turnout ended up beating Parent University’s first year of attendance with plans to only expand and improve each year thanks to key people involved in planning including Director of Student Support Programs, Geri Geitner and Fulton Community Schools, Conners added.

The goal of Parent University will remain the same, however.

“To continue to increase communication and participation between the district and our community,” said Conners, addressing the intent of Parent University. “Our schools belong to our community. The agencies represented here from throughout our community are not just here as a one time thing. We interact with these agencies all year long, we want parents to see that and know that.”

The community agencies present included Oswego Health, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Fulton First United Methodist Church, Oswego County Opportunities, Oswego County Health Department, Price Chopper, Head Start, and inter school relations such as school home liaisons.

School representatives were also available to register incoming students for Universal Pre-K or Kindergarten for the upcoming school year.

“This is also some families first interaction with the district, we really like that it’s a positive one,” said Conners.

The day filled with education tools and information, student performances, door prize drawings for donated baskets, food and fun was a great success for the school district, the community agencies represented, and the entire Fulton community.