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Our Story, Our Why

Updated: May 27, 2020

Welcome to The Read Aloud! The term “read aloud” is often used in classrooms across the United States when wanting one to read information in a volume loud enough for others to hear. Using our title as an analogy, we want to ensure that all parent voices are being heard by educators, administrators and schools. Research purports that parent voices (in particular parents of color) are often marginalized within the education system, especially when it connects to poverty and ability.

Schools are building digital platforms to improve communication and to help parents stay in the know of basic school information. We are proponents of this. We actually love technology and appreciate school emails, phone calls, and ClassDojo, etc. Technology is a tool created to support two-way conversations. However, when it comes to courageous conversations or topics that require more parent input, school officials often reduce the parent’s role to passive participation and/or parent consent. Think about conversations regarding your child’s social/emotional needs, parent/teacher conferences, IEP meetings, school site council meetings, board meetings, etc. These are the spaces that you are encouraged to “read aloud”! Right now, people are making decisions about your children and are prospering from your lack of participation and this is not okay. Your voices need to be heard!

Arguments have been made about lack of parent participation when it comes to school engagement for parents of color. But we argue parents lack of engagement is due to several obstacles that parents encounter when communicating with schools. Things like adverse childhood experiences, naivete’, language barriers, intimidation, even micro-aggressions have all impacted sincere parent engagement. But, why? Parents are the experts! You have first-hand knowledge about your children and you carry a lot of social power. Parents sometimes need more information and inspiration to uphold their powerful position. But look no further.

Home-school communication is twofold and both sides play an integral part. Schools often have a consortium of experts, media, research and finance to support their voices in being heard. But what do parents have? Often times, hearsay or experience. But now you have The Read Aloud to add to your support system! We will share, tried and true, tips to help you overcome obstacles when connecting with schools as a parent.

The Read Aloud is a space where practical and sometimes unknown information is shared about education. A communal place to support and affirm your thoughts as you move forward in parent advocacy. We want parent voices to be heard at the decision- making table. This is especially important now! COVID-19 will change public education as we know it and it may change the trajectory of your child’s future. So now is the time to learn best practices and gain support for parenting through the education system.

Keep in mind that this is not legal advice but a tool to help you make better decisions as it relates to your child succeeding in school. We appreciate this new partnership! Continue to stay tuned for more content and follow us on other platforms for real time fun and connecting!

“Parents have become so convinced that educators know what is best for children that they forget that they are the experts." ~Marian Wright Edelman, educator



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