[one_column]In each of the school communities in which Wellspring works, we conduct training in Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) for parents. The aim of this training is to empower parents by leading them through a process in which they reframe their understanding of what they have to contribute in their community. The process is as follows:
- They share successful stories in their lives
- They discover their role as “citizens” who have something to contribute
- They get to know how they can use what they have (their “assets”) to secure what they need, personally and for their community
- They discover and share individual gifts – of heart, head, and hand
- They become more aware of the power of community, and of working together
- Then as a community, they discover their concerns, their dreams, and their gift-giving opportunities
Parents who have participated in this training talk repeatedly of how much it has helped them, particularly as they understand their roles in their school, and in their children’s education. Traditionally, many parents have seen their role as simply providing supplies to their students, and have left everything else entirely to the teachers. But now, parents are increasingly realising that their engagement with the school is key to their children’s learning experience. Head Teachers speak of how, following ABCD training, a big change has been noticeable. Parents are visiting their children at school to find out how they are getting on, and many are taking initiatives for the development of their school.
For example, in one of these schools there was a parent who, following ABCD training, decided to follow his child’s progress more closely, as he had been performing poorly at school. It soon came to his attention that his son was neither taking notes at school, nor doing his homework – hence the issues with his progress. This parent met with his son’s teachers, and they decided to work together to follow the child’s progress at school, encouraging him and working with him to ensure he was completing his work each day. After only a month, there was a big change and improvement in this child’s progress. He had seen that his father cared, that his teachers cared … and this completely changed his attitude to school.
Wellspring’s Program Manager, Rachel, reports that, “this particular parent, together with many other parents, thanks Wellspring for having trained them, awakened their minds, and helped them to find solutions to their own challenges. They assure us that they are going to continue working together, thinking of more things they can do to improve the learning of their children.”