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Cumming Elementary getting parents more involved

POSTED: January 27, 2014 12:02 a.m.
Jennifer Sami/

William Peak, a kindergartener, learns with dominoes during Family Math Night at Cumming Elementary.

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Cribbage wasn’t about math for Cumming Elementary students Eli Nieporent, Charlie Drueke or Macy McCown. They were just having fun with friends.

But the valuable critical thinking skills are exactly why the first-graders were playing the classic card game Thursday during Family Math Night.

Cribbage was just one of nine games students played during the event, sponsored by the school’s Title I department.

Among the others were domino multiplication, Mind Reader, graham cracker dominoes and domino parking lot. All were geared toward helping students with their math skills.

Kathy Gunter, parent involvement coordinator, said the Title I school is required to hold a certain number of programs to encourage parent involvement, but wants to go above and beyond.

“We wanted to make them a little more exciting than just delivering information to parents,” she said.

Title I schools have a specific population of economically disadvantaged students and receive federal funding to help educate them. Because Cumming Elementary’s status is schoolwide, the events are open to all students and their families.

Other activities planned before the end of the school year include a cultural heritage night and several lunchtime learning events, where the topics will range from using technology to preparing for the CRCT.

According to Gunter, encouraging parent involvement is crucial “so that they can engage in their children’s education.”

“We’ve seen an increase in the last year,” she said.

The school has also been recognized beyond its Title I program recently, earning the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant to add fencing to their 32-bed sustainable garden.

The school earned the grant last year as well, helping to upgrade its germinating system with heating mats and installing a rain garden. The fence project will be completed by May.

In addition, Cumming Elementary has been named a Reward School for the second year in a row by the state.

It placed among the top 5 percent of Title I schools in Georgia with the highest absolute performance during three years for all students on statewide assessments.


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