LINCOLN — Share a picnic in the park. Read a book together. Practice math at the grocery store. Set an example of volunteering.
There are lots of ways parents can be involved with their children’s learning — and Gov. Dave Heineman and first lady Sally Ganem urged Nebraska parents Wednesday to take every opportunity to do so.
Ganem, a former elementary school principal, said countless studies show parental involvement plays a key role in a child’s success in school and beyond.
“Parents are the first and most significant teachers in a child’s life,” she said. “You do, in fact, make the biggest difference.”
Parental involvement improves student attendance, attitudes and accomplishments. It also reduces behavior problems.
The governor and first lady said parental involvement doesn’t have to mean attending every PTA meeting or being an expert in the subjects a child is studying in school.
What it does mean is setting high expectations and demonstrating that education is important, Heineman said.
“It’s everything you do with your child,” he said.
The governor and first lady spoke out as many schools are getting ready to reopen for the fall. They highlighted the work of the Nebraska Community Learning Center Network, which works to promote parental involvement.
The network will have several activities at the upcoming Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island focusing on parents, education and the areas of science, technology engineering and mathematics.
In addition, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications will air a program looking at efforts to build parental engagement in education. The program is scheduled for 8 p.m. Aug. 15 on NET2 World.
It is part of the NET series, "The State of Education in Nebraska."