Patterson founded the school’s “Highly Involved Parent” program in 2010 as a way to reward parents for becoming involved in their student’s education.
The Title I instructor was inspired by the rewards programs at grocery stores like Kroger.
“I thought it would be a nice way to encourage parents to become involved,” Patterson said.
Parents receive a “H.I.P.” (Highly Involved Parent) card at the beginning of each school year. The card has events throughout the school year in which parents can attend. These events include PTA meetings, parent conferences, family nights and monthly parent involvement meetings.
Once the parent has attended eight of these events, he or she will be entered into a drawing for prizes donated by local businesses. The drawing is held at the last PTA meeting of the school year. Past prizes have included flat screen televisions donated by Best Buy and a grill donated by The Home Depot.
Half of the events the school hosts are in the morning and half are in the evening, so as to accommodate all work schedules.
Patterson and Principal Paul Wilder agreed that the program has grown exponentially since its inception two years ago.
“At some of the bigger events, we went from about 100 to 150 people in 2010, to about 300 last year,” Patterson said.
Wilder said not only was the program a great way to encourage families to take an active part in their education, but also for the school and business community to give back to parents.
“It’s nice to give back,” said Wilder. “It’s good to see a smile on their face.”