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We have a family who came to us this year from another school, so they were a new family.  They had a really hard time initially transitioning from the culture of WP to here.  Each school has their own flavor, and you become used to that style, so it was tough for them at first to feel comfortable.  I have worked really hard with mom on resources, taking her for coffees and lunches and just listening to her concerns, then bringing those back to the teachers.  Both of the girls are now seeing the counselor here at school, and she has little jobs for them.  I really encouraged the family to come to our STEM night, but they had no money for pizza, so we arranged for pizza money. 

After they came to STEM night, I feel like things are progressing.  Yes, I hooked them up with Christmas gifts, baskets, food for the holidays, and I've provided gas cards on a couple of occasions, but I'm really excited about the work of getting them more engaged in school.  I've been able to get them signed up for both after school program sessions in the Fall and Spring.  Highland Park Elementary isn't a Title One school, so after school programs aren't a given, aren't on site, nor are special extras like free pizza on STEM nights.  That's been a difference that we've had to work on overcoming with this family, coming from a Title One school.  I think we've made that progress.  Finally, mom shared with me that when one of her daughter's teachers gives her a hug or other positive affirmations, that totally makes her day.  When I shared this with the teacher, she acknowledged to me that she has seen more effort from this little one, and I feel like she connected the praise = effort correlation.  I'll keep at it!


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