You might’ve heard the famous quote attributed to author Matthew L. Jacobson which says, “Behind every child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first.” We couldn’t agree more. At The Gardner School, we value the role parents play in a child’s academic growth and development. While parents place a great amount of trust in us with their children’s daily education and care, we know that the greatest heroes are found at home, as nothing can take the place of the special bond between children and their parents. In honor of National Parents’ Day on July 23rd, here are a few ways we like to express gratitude for our TGS parents and families throughout the year, as well as a few of our unique programs and offerings in which parents can find value.
How The Gardner School Expresses Parent Appreciation
While our staff and students could celebrate all the wonderful things about parents each day, The Gardner School sets aside a few select moments during the year to honor and display gratitude for parents. Every school location shows special appreciation for parents and families during our Fall Festivals, Holiday Program performances, as well as Spring Flings and Graduation ceremonies. Our students always look forward to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, as The Gardner School staff helps them craft handmade, sentimental gifts for their parents.
Individual school locations also organize their own specific parent and family appreciation efforts, including occasional light on-the-go breakfasts and socials that can include anything from coffee to ice cream. Most of all, we hope our parents feel the greatest value through the overall attention, care, education, and love their students receive from teachers, directors, and staff members each day. Tania Crawford, Director at The Gardner School of West Loop (Chicago) says, “Essentially, parents have chosen us to become a part of their extended family—something for which we are truly grateful. As educators and care providers, we want to meet and exceed parents’ expectations and prove we are worthy to remain a part of their extended family!”
How Parents Find Added Value in The Gardner School Programs
Through a variety of programs and special offerings that are unique to The Gardner School, parents can find added value in choosing us as their child’s academically-focused preschool. “Among parents’ favorite features at The Gardner School is the PreciouStatus app, in which they can receive timely updates throughout the day regarding their little ones’ activities and learning,” adds Crawford. The app also provides parents with important announcements and updates from teachers and school directors, including safety measures, inclement weather updates, and more.
In addition to intentional and regular communication with parents, our schools provide viewing screens in the front lobby for parents to be able to observe their child’s status after they drop them off in the classroom. This allows for an added peace of mind as parents head off to work or to assume their day’s activities.
The Gardner School’s enrichment courses are another major way parents find value in the school’s programs. Instead of having to drive all over town for dance rehearsals, karate lessons, or soccer practice, we provide a wide range of optional classes for students to take part in beyond the regular classroom curriculum offerings, giving families more time together. "We love that TGS offers enrichment classes on site. Our daughter started out with gymnastics, and now she is in dance. We are letting her try different things to let her see what she likes,” says Rusty Strange, a TGS parent.
Parents and families can also benefit from a variety of articles in the “Family Living” category of The Gardner School’s blog that offer at-home learning ideas, as well as suggestions for activities to do with children at home and within your community. The Gardner School sends out a monthly e-newsletter for parents to stay informed, and we also encourage parents to follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages for a peek into weekly happenings, informative articles, and creative parenting tips. Parents and families can also follow their specific school’s Facebook page as well.
The Gardner School is proud to uplift the message of National Parents’ Day, which promotes the important role of parents in human development, especially the investment, focus, and commitment required. Our goal is to remain committed in our partnership with parents to believe in their children, guide them toward excellence, and help them be prepared to face all the challenges and joys that life can bring. Hats off to you, TGS parents!