Thirty parents stood in front of their classmates Saturday afternoon in the Parents for Public Schools Parent Engagement Program explaining how they can help improve the Hazlehurst School District and their vision for the future.
"If we can get all of our parents involved and engaged in our children's education, I think we'll have the best school district in the country," said participant Paul Rhodes.
The graduation ceremony was emotional at times for a few parents.
During six days of training, the group learned about test scores, how to communicate with educators, and how to effectively solve problems in the district.
"I do think these parents have a lot of passion, and I think that it has benefited them just to know that a group like parents for public schools will invest some time and money to explain things to them that probably they've never had explained to them in the past," explained Parents for Public Schools National Executive Director Anne Foster.
"We're gonna take it back to the community and really change our community," said Rhodes.
Parents for Public Schools, a national organization started in Jackson in 1989, says every successful school district has parents who are involved in their child's education.
"Children do have higher test scores, they take more rigorous courses, they have fewer discipline problems, and they graduate in higher numbers," said Foster.
The Hazlehurst School District has been taken over by the state.
At times it has faced academic, along with financial and leadership issues.
However, the group of parents say they are more determined than ever to make sure their kids receive a quality education.
"I'm not gonna pull them out of our school to go to another school. I need to make our school better," said Rhodes.
Each parent was given a certificate and an e-reader for taking the course.
The Jim and Donna Barksdale Foundation funded the training.
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