Even masks couldn’t hide the smiling faces of students and families as they attended Detroit Premier Academy’s Poppin' with Puma Pride Parent Parade.
What began as an admissions parent event soon became a lively parent parade after Amanda Bauer, principal at Detroit Premier, reflected on the first month of learning this school year. She asked herself, “What else do my families need at this time?” With 195 students in attendance, the parade offered curbside tech support, Count Day reminders from the office, a backpack and school supply giveaway, and the distribution of classroom materials that students needed for upcoming projects. As a festive takeaway, students received a “Poppin’ with Puma Pride” postcard and popcorn from the Admissions team.
At DPA, it is imperative to offer students and families an opportunity to come together outside of school hours. “These events build positive relationships between all stakeholders at DPA,” shared Bauer. “During this school year, these events are even more important to hold. We are all together virtually, but there is something different seeing a student or parent in person rather than through a computer screen.”
The parade was an opportunity for families to connect with Principal Bauer, office staff, and even collect extra materials needed for any subject lessons and units in October were distributed to students. For example, first-grade students received science materials for an upcoming science lesson.
A highlight of the event was the backpack and school supply giveaway. DPA partnered with Communities In Schools (CIS) for the 2020-21 school year, which is a non-profit organization that works in collaboration with schools across the country to provide support to empower students to stay in school and succeed in life. “CIS is committed to making partnerships within our community from which our families benefit,” said Bauer. “The backpacks and school supplies were a recent donation and it made sense to include that in the parade.”
Even while schools look different, Bauer is eager as she looks ahead at this school year. Parental involvement remains a key ingredient to the success of a child’s educational experience and is one of the four pillars at NHA. Research indicates that a leading predictor of student success is parental involvement; therefore, parents are included in many aspects of a child’s educational experience.
“Working with students and watching them grow will always be what I look forward to the most every school year. I love seeing them in person, even socially distanced in a parade,” she said. “This is why I am holding a parade every month for families to drive through. Our next parade is ‘Fall in love with Reading’ at the end of October where each student will receive a book and a bookmark.”