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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: September 27, 2001

26 Schools Honored for Successful Parent Participation Programs

Twenty-six schools from 12 districts were honored today for creating successful parental involvement programs in cities across New Jersey. Known as the Parent Participation Program, this initiative for recognizing and encouraging the development of exemplary parent involvement programs in the Abbott school districts is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Education.

Special cash grants totaling $78,000 were awarded to schools in Camden, Elizabeth, Keansburg, Long Branch, New Brunswick, Newark, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Pleasantville, Trenton, Vineland, and West New York. (See attachment.)

The luncheon ceremony at the Holiday Inn in Jamesburg served to showcase outstanding programs that enable parents to use community and school resources to actively participate in their children’s education. The awards are designed not only to salute schools that have launched programs, but to encourage other schools to focus attention on promoting greater parental involvement.

"Student success is often strongly linked with parental support of learning both at home and in school," said Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. "Families and schools are natural partners in the education of New Jersey’s children, and parents can be a tremendous boost to the school’s efforts by being actively involved in the school.

"I am very proud of the growing number of Abbott schools that have effective parent participation programs, and I encourage our winning schools to share their ideas for involving more families in their children’s education," Commissioner Gagliardi said.

Maria Nuccetelli, acting assistant commissioner for the Division of Field Services, and State Board of Education President Maud Dahme recognized the schools at the ceremony.

Each school honored today will receive a $3,000 grant for its parent participation program. In addition, a publication describing their success will be shared with school districts throughout the state.

Parent involvement programs include training workshops, volunteer programs, education services, and opportunities for parents to participate in the governance of schools through school management teams.

All public schools in the Abbott districts were eligible to compete for the awards. Winners were selected by an independent panel under the auspices of the Office of Program Review and Improvement, Department of Education.