Parent University-Effingham was established in August 2012. It embraces a “college like” atmosphere and offers “FREE” learning sessions three times per year with graduation kicking off the fall session. Parent University- Effingham graduated twelve students (1 with honors) during the 2013 fall session. Participants must acquire at least 15 credit hours to graduate in which five of them must be CORE classes (subject matter that improves student achievement and strengthen the family unit). These hours may be earned by attending sessions at Parent University-Effingham. To graduate with honors, a total of 25 credit hours (15 required hours plus 10 additional hours.) are needed. Additional hours may be earned in other school functions as field trips, classroom visits, PTO/PTA/Booster Club functions, classroom visits and Parent/Teacher Conferences. Additional hours may also be earned by attending or participating in community activities e.g. Effingham Family Connection, Girls Night Out, Health Fairs, and E-Connect Workshops.
A typical session begins with registration and breakfast, followed by a general session, three breakout sessions, and lunch. While the parents are in class, children grades Pre-K – 5 attend “Kidz Academy”, and children grades 6-12 attend Youth Leadership classes. Classes are age appropriate and are Scientifically Research-Based Best Practices. Classes support our Family Literacy effort. During the last class of the day, children have the opportunity to choose a free book. In addition to the classes, vendors are on hand. Door prize drawings are held for children and adults. After each session, participants are given the opportunity to offer feedback in a survey that asks them to identify something they liked about the session, things they have learned or actions they will take immediately as a result of the class, how the session could be improved, and what they would like to learn more about. At the end of the day, participants complete an overall assessment. The evaluations are tallied and used to improve the next Parent University – Effingham session and are shared with the partners.
The upcoming April 5, 2014 session will offer a drawing for a 2 nights – 3 days all expenses paid vacation to the Golden Isles. You must be present to win and no entries will be accepted after 9:30 a.m. The featured guest at the upcoming session will be Shiona “Shi” Curry, a 9 year old chef, speaker, and T.V. show host. “Shi” is transforming how children value what they eat and think.
“Research shows that when parents are involved in their children’s education, the children do better in school and life. Parent University- Effingham provides opportunities for parents to sharpen their parenting skills, gain a better understanding of what their children are learning, and become full partners in the education of their children; as well as, help parents grow personally and professionally.
Dr. Franklin Goldwire, retired principal of South Effingham County High School and Effingham County Middle School, is the Dean of Parent University-Effingham. Parent University-Effingham is a non-profit organization with 501 (c) (3) status and is in partnership with the Effingham County Board of Education.

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