Middle school workshops aim to strengthen family connections

New parent engagement workshops at Winters Middle School are working to empower families and better their communication.
Willie, Joel and Marcelo Barrera attended the inaugural All Pro Dads session on Aug. 21 where they learned about the Power of Consistency. Courtesy photo

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New parent engagement workshops at Winters Middle School are working to encourage more family time, fortify the adolescent-parent bond and empower caregivers by sharing resources and tips to strengthen family relationships and communication. WMS Vice Principal Oscar Garcia began hosting a series of parent engagement workshops this school year starting with the All Pro Dads session in late August followed by the All Star Moms session in early September. While the titles say “Moms” and “Dads” in them, Garcia ensures that any adult or older role model in the student’s life is welcome to participate in the monthly sessions. This includes, but is not limited to grandparents, an aunt or uncle, guardians or older siblings. The goal of the program is to bring families closer together by providing an opportunity for parents and caregivers to spend quality time with their child and learn about and review strategies together to help strengthen their relationships both at school and at home. “The benefit for our kids is that they’ve already shared a discussion with their family, shared a meal together and shared a hug all before 8 a.m.,” said Garcia. “ They get to talk about topics that will strengthen their bond at home. During any other typical day they may not get those opportunities because each day is packed with school, work and other extracurricular activities.” Some of the session topics include acceptance, learning contentment and the power of consistency.  Garcia said he learned about the program from another principal and implemented it at other school sites he previously worked at. As a Winters alumnus, he said he was excited about bringing it to the middle school when he accepted the job offer as the new WMS Vice Principal. The monthly engagement sessions happen on the first Friday of the month for adult female role models and on the third Wednesday of the month for adult male role models. Sessions run from 7-8 a.m. Attendees can have a free breakfast, juice and coffee. Garcia hopes more parents and caregivers will attend and share about the sessions with other middle school families. He said the morning timeframe was best allowed for them to get families together before they start their work and school days.  Questions about the All Pro Dads or All Star Moms sessions can be emailed to Garcia at ogarcia@wintersjusd.org.]]>

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