Where can parents go for guidance on ways to support their children’s education while students enjoy entertainment and games and the entire family has access free health screenings? Dallas ISD’s Office of Family and Community Engagement offers these services and more at its popular PREP U Super Saturday events held at district high schools to provide information and resources to parents in various neighborhood feeder patterns.
Now in the fourth year, the PREP U events attract thousands of families. Parent feedback indicates that one of the biggest draws is the resource booths staffed by representatives of clinics, social service agencies and area nonprofits. Program Support Team Manager MariCarmen Eroles said her team reaches out in every community where it sponsors a PREP U to identify partner agencies that will support the event with free services such as immunizations, dental screenings, and vision and glucose tests.
She said parents like the idea of a one-stop shop for information and family fun.
“A lot of parents tell us that among the things they appreciate most about these events is the access to so many community resources and health screenings,” she said. “The fun, family-friendly atmosphere of the events allows them to enjoy themselves at the same time they’re getting information they can use.”
The first event of the year was held at Wilmer-Hutchins High School to celebrate the opening of the new school year. The next two events are scheduled at 9 a.m., Sat., Sept. 12, at South Oak Cliff High School, 3601 S. Marsalis Ave., and at 9 a.m. Sat., Sept. 19, at Thomas Jefferson High School, 4001 Walnut Hill Lane. While the events are primarily targeted to the parents of each high school’s feeder pattern, they are open to all Dallas ISD families.
The Office of Family and Community Engagement also works with the schools throughout the year to provide workshops in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. The department’s goal is to provide parents the tools they need to support their students academically, socially and emotionally.
“Schools host the workshops and we provide the speakers and publicity for them. We also make sure that we cover the whole district to ensure that every area has the opportunity to host one of these,” Eroles said. “These workshops have been so well received that some schools have even started their own workshop series, which is great because one of our goals is to build capacity.”
For information about the PREP U series or other parent workshops, contact the Office of Family and Community Engagement at 972-925-3916.