Two elementary schools hold meetings for parents


January 09, 1995|By CINDY PARR

Many facets of our lives sometimes are difficult to maintain, especially if children are involved.

Once the children reach a certain age, it almost seems as if life is spent in the family automobile.

Running children to extracurricular activities, going to work, to the grocery store, volunteering and a variety of activities can take most of the hours out of the day.

I know that I don't get the opportunity to keep up with certain areas of my life that are important.

I would like to keep in closer touch with friends, play tennis, attend PTA meetings regularly and, most important, have more time to spend with my children.

Elementary schools in central Carroll are helping to make parent and teacher communication more frequent.

In addition to monthly PTA meetings, many of the county's elementary schools are holding regularly scheduled morning meetings where parents can discuss specific topics in an informal setting.

Two examples are William Winchester's "Tea and Talk" and Sandymount Elementary School's "Breakfast Bunch."

"Tea and Talk," which is in its third year at William Winchester, meets the second Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a.m., and again at 6:30 p.m., in the school's instrumental music room.

Teacher Marty Devilbiss said, "The idea is to provide parents with an informal setting to talk about topics in which they are interested. In this type of a setting, we have found that parents feel more comfortable and find it easier to ask questions and discuss their concerns."

Refreshments are served while parents listen to a specific topic of discussion.

Ms. Devilbiss said a typical group ranges from four to 12 parents, depending on the topic.

So far this year, homework and parent conferences have been the featured topics. A session on family reading night was opened to students and parents.

William Winchester's Tea and Talk will meet tomorrow to discuss keeping children healthy during the winter.

"It is very much a team effort," Ms. Devilbiss said. "We all help to put a session together."

Sandymount Elementary is enjoying the first year of its "Breakfast Bunch."

The program also is designed to provide parents with an opportunity to meet informally with school administrators and teachers to discuss programs and topics of concern.

At scheduled 9:30 a.m. gatherings, coffee, doughnuts and muffins are served during discussions.

"Our gatherings are meant to be very informal and no more than one hour long," explained Linda Mills, principal at Sandymount. "It's organized so we have plenty of time for questions. It also gives parents a chance to chit-chat and get to know each other and the faculty."

Sandymount's parent-teacher gatherings have brought in as many as 14 parents for discussions on school programs.

Mrs. Mills said the school plans to offer Breakfast Bunch meetings about its vocal and instrumental music and physical education programs this spring.


Carroll County Public Library's Westminster branch is planning programs for children during the winter.

Beginning Jan. 23, a variety of literature programs for infants and preschool children will be available.

Susan Roberts, program coordinator for county libraries, said story times are one way the library can give parents and children quality time.

"Basically, what we are trying to do is to encourage parents to read with their kids and make a visit to the library as routine as going to the grocery store," Ms. Roberts said. "Through the story times, we want to enhance children's ability to comprehend and reinforce the idea of a story."

Story time programs typically run in seven- to eight-week sessions, scheduled at a variety of days and times.

Registration for the Jan. 23 session begins today.

Information: 848-4250.


If you are a member of the Westminster Class of 1979, then you won't want to miss a 16-year reunion planned for April 8.

For more information, call Robin at 857-5828.

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