Students, families celebrate National African American Parent Involvement Day

More than 100 students and family members gathered at Anoka Middle School for the Arts Fred Moore campus for a special National African American Parent Involvement event there the evening of Feb. 11.

“This is our family. This is our place to be,” Principal Jerri McGonigal said, greeting folks as they came in and sat at tables in the school cafeteria.

Guest speaker Marius Massie talked about the “language of respect” during a special National African American Parent Involvement Day event at Anoka Middle School for the Arts. Photo courtesy of Jolanda Dranchak

Guest speaker Marius Massie talked about the “language of respect” during a special National African American Parent Involvement Day event at Anoka Middle School for the Arts. Photo courtesy of Jolanda Dranchak

To start the evening, parents, children and staff members shared a meal, and then enjoyed student showcases and learned about opportunities for parent involvement at the middle school.

Later, parents and grandparents made their way to the auditorium where they listened to guest speaker Marius Massie introduce them to the six dialects of the “language of respect.”

Massie urged parents to use those dialects to establish greater communication, rapport and influence with their children.

He also spoke about how to defend children against low self-esteem and troublesome behavior, how to secure a strong bond with their children, how to guide children toward greater purpose, and how to create a good atmosphere for growth.

While parents were in the auditorium, the older children danced and drummed under the direction of Anoka Middle School music instructors Nicki Hill and Julie Schmidt while the younger ones were entertained by student volunteers from Anoka High School.

“This is a fun night and so valuable for everyone,” said McGonigal.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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