How to Prepare Children for Success in the Cleveland Schools

Written by Patricia Hawke for

Cleveland Public Schools have gotten a lot of press lately for both their dismal college graduation rates and their innovative small schools transformation. Cleveland Schools see about 30% of students in the state graduate from college in 10 years or less. One approach to the problem is transforming the massive high schools to smaller ones with 500 students or less. But the truth is that the success or failure of students in the Cleveland Schools starts long before high school. If you have elementary aged children in the Cleveland Schools, there are some things you can do that will really help your children succeed.
Read, Read, Read in the Cleveland Schools
Wait- don’t stop reading! I know you’ve heard this before, but if there is one magic trick that will ensure your child’s success in the Cleveland Schools it is this. Even if you aren’t a reader- this is crucial. You need to set aside 15 minutes every night before bedtime to read to your Cincinnati Schools child. Even if they can read. Even if you hate to. Here’s what to do.
Pick out books that interest you, but that are appropriate for your child’s age. I don’t care if it’s Harry Potter or The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. But it should interest you enough that you start to look forward to it. Even if your child isn’t interested at first- it’s a matter of time. Just the fact that a parent commits time nightly to spend with a child is very appealing. And the story’s appeal will soon win them over. And here’s the best part. Readers are good students. And no matter which Cincinnati Schools your child attends, reading will help him or her achieve in every other subject.
Unplug in the Cleveland Schools
Here’s a recommendation that will send many parents in the Cleveland Schools running to protect their remotes. Don’t let your children watch television during the school week. I hear the screams of pain and protest. But listen to the reasons. Children in the Cleveland Schools who spend their before and after-school hours watching television are missing out on a lot of important things: exercise, imaginative play, using up energy, learning patience, and learning how to interact with other children. Can you balance some television with these other activities? Maybe. But my observation is that when children know that television is an option they’ll take it because it’s easier.
My work with inner-city children also reinforces my belief that television gives young children a lot of things Cleveland Schools parents don’t want them to have. Images of violence, inappropriate and suggestive material, and a habit of turning off their brains to let someone else provide their entertainment.
What if you’re a single or working parent with children in the Cleveland Schools? As an often-exhausted mom I know how hard it is not to give in to the boob-tube baby-sitter. And if your children are in childcare, you may not have the ability to monitor their television watching. So take a small step. Find other parents in the Cleveland Schools who share your goal of raising well educated students. Open a forum with teachers in the Cleveland Schools whom you can tap for knowledge. Your role and your actions as a parent are the biggest factors of your child’s success in the Cleveland Schools.