BCES introduces “FAST” program

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This spring, the BCES Full Service Team introduced a new program for elementary families called Families and Schools Together, or FAST. The goal of the program is to get parents more involved with their child’s life at school and bring families closer together. The program lasts 8 weeks and is open to families with children in Pre-K through the second grade.

FAST is run by a hard working team of parents, community members, Family Resource Center staff, Gear Up staff and Full Service staff. Every Tuesday night at 5:30 PM, FAST staff works hard to ensure that every family feels welcome and is ready to learn. The program begins with families playing games and singing together, followed a meal for parents and students to share together. After dinner, students join the child care team for indoor and outdoor activities while parents are given time to chat with one another about the program and their children. The evening ends with an activity called “special play” where children lead their parents in playtime without parents taking the lead or having any teaching moments. Every week, one family is awarded a raffle basket to keep the special play going at home.

The project is spearheaded by Full-Service worker Jenny Hobson. She said, “FAST’s goal is to help families get to know one another better and to get more involved at school. FAST also provides special time every week for families and their children.” She hopes that the program will bring parents into their children’s lives at school and help them understand their children better. Hobson wholeheartedly believes that schools are more successful when parents are actively involved in their child’s education. FRYSC team leader Diane Smith, who has helped to ensure the program runs smoothly, agees with Hobsons statement. According to Smith, “We chose to do FAST because the parent-child relationship is the foundation for success in our education and even more importantly, is critical to the long lasting relationship for the parent and child.”

FAST has met every Tuesday night this spring and will continue to meet through May 7, when parents and students will graduate from the program together. FAST will return to BCES in the fall for families of kindergartners, with the hopes of getting parents involved with the school early on, introducing the families to one another, and making the transition into elementary school easier for both parent and child.