An overflow crowd of interested parents, community members and civic leaders packed Jacinto City Elementary on Wednesday, Sept. 19 to learn more about the Partners in Learning program made possible through a partnership with Lyondell Chemical Company and San Jacinto College North.
Jacinto City Elementary received an exemplary rating under the state’s accountability system in 2006-2007.
Partners in Learning: Schools and Families Build the Future evolved from ideas shared by community activist Dee Owens along with Congressman Gene Green, Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and Representative Ana Hernandez. Dr. Karen Hattaway, English professor at San Jacinto College North, lent her expertise to the program and she was one of the featured speakers during the activity. Denny Wiseman, plant manger for Lyondell, also spoke to the audience.
“The Partners in Learning Program promotes greater communication between parents and the school by providing them with information about how schools function and the best ways solve student issues,” said Jim Keal, principal at Jacinto City Elementary. “I always tell our parents that we are on the same side, and we have the same goals.”
The program features detailed handbooks for parents, in English and Spanish, customized for each grade level. Those attending the Sept. 19 meeting received the first-grade handbook that contains information on understanding first grade, having fun learning, keeping the family healthy and important phone numbers. The focus of the handbooks is to provide parents strategies to provide nurturing environments, encouragement and good health for their children and for students to learn about the importance of family and to make the correct choices for a successful future, in addition to performing their best in school.
There were actually two presentations occurring simultaneously that evening. While Dr. Hattaway spoke to the English-speaking audience, translator Jaime Robles, who assisted in the translation of the handbook, presented the same information in Spanish to the Spanish-speaking audience.
Shown (l-r) are: Dawn Thompson-Fisher, president of the GPISD Board of Trustees; Jeff Miller, member of the GPISD Board of Trustees; Dr. Karen Hattaway, San Jacinto College North; Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools; Dee Owens, community activist; Jim Keal, principal at Jacinto City Elementary; Marlene Clowers, from Congressman Gene Green’s office; Denny Wiseman, plant manager at Lyondell; Aaron Woods, regional public relations manager for Lyondell; Lisa Shuptrine, city councilwoman in Jacinto City; and Mike Jackson, mayor of Jacinto City.