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Shenandoah County schools introduce 'Be There' campaign

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

Parents of students in Shenandoah County can expect to see signage, videos and presentations on a new initiative this school year: the 'Be There' campaign.

School officials attending the Virginia State School Board Association Conference who saw a presentation on the program felt it was a good fit for the county, according to Kelly Storey, the school division's federal programs coordinator.

"Parents will see banners, posters, handouts and public service announcements, not only in schools, but in their neighborhoods and community," Storey said Wednesday. There will be a focus on the program during the county's back to school nights as well as during PTO meetings throughout the school year, she said.

The signage will be personalized to Shenandoah County, and Storey said video clips will appear on local television stations and will feature local students.

The campaign's goal seems as simple as its name.

"What you really have to do as a parent, as a teacher, is be there," Storey said. "Everyday at home, at school is an opportunity to support our children. Life is a teachable moment."

The campaign helps in coaching parents on how to interact with their children so they are more involved in their school experience -- both on an educational and social level. One of the goals is to improve student achievement through the increased family involvement.

"When parents ask their kids what happened in school that day, their answer is usually 'nothing,'" Storey explained. "This is about getting to know the specifics. What was fun, what was hard, how did the science test go ... it seems simple, but sometimes we forget to dig a little deeper."

Storey recognized that both parents and kids are busy, and as a working parent, she said she has first hand knowledge of wanting to be more involved.

"We're a busy society, but research shows that the most important involvement is just being there," she said.

Teachers also will be a part of the program while kids are at school.

"Each teacher should want to be the one that kids remember," Storey said. "They do so much more than just teaching algebra. They build relationships that give children one more resource for support on many levels."

Storey said the cost for the program is "very minimal," and was actually covered by a federal grant. There was no direct cost to the school division to take on the campaign, she said.

"We're just so excited to start this," Storey said. "It can only get bigger and better with time, and we know there have been plenty of positive results from school systems that have already implemented the program."

For more information on the program, go to www.bethere.org.


WOW! What a brilliant idea, "Be There". Reminds me of Nancy Reagan's solution to drugs, "Just Say NO!"

So kids must now - be there? Where were they suppose to be before? Does that mean they will actually come to school everyday, on time? Does that mean that parents will stop jerking these kids out of school for little vacations? Does that mean kids won't be stopping off at McDonald's instead of being in the classroom? Does that mean kids will actually go to bed instead of watching TV all night?

Can this mean BE THERE, sit your little butt down and behave yourself? Another feel good slogan. Now everyone can wear a t-shirt with this message. Yea! How exciting!

And "teachers will be part of the program while kids are at school". Well where were they before? Can't wait to hear how this improves the schools.

Diana, this isn't about the KIDS being there. It's about the PARENTS being there for them.

This is great! I think so many parents get lost in the business of their own lives (work, etc) that they forget to actually converse with their children. Sometimes we need a reminder. I'm so happy that my son goes to Shenandoah Co schools! They do great things with the students and get the parents involved as much as possible.

Yet another person quick to complain. Diana maybe if you went to school you would have developed your comprehension skills. This program is designed for the parents to be more supportive and be more involved in school with their kids. The teachers are not in place to be the kids "second parents!" The teachers need the parents support to do their job. If you didn't already know it's the parents job to make sure the TV is off, stopping off at Micky D's, study and get a decent amount of sleep, not the teachers! So quick to find blame and complain is now the American Dream!!!

Diana, all you do is continually whine and gripe about everything. 99% of your comments make no sense and are getting routine. From now on, I'll see who's making the comment to avoid reading yours since it's obvious you fail to either read or comprehend what the articles are about. Appears you're a very bitter person who likes to complain about everything.

As for the article, I think it's a great idea to plant the seed to get the parents more involved in their child's day. I hope it works as designed and believe the initiative will be a success, I know the teachers and administration will appreciate it.

Teachers are on overload with little appreciation for what they do each and every day. I am well aware of what this little slogan is intended to do. Two words and now parents who have failed to be parents will suddenly fall into line? MAGIC SOLUTION!

It's not a matter of complaining, it simply the same old simplistic stuff that goes on all the time. The problems in our schools run deep and discipline is a major concern: talk to the teachers. Overcrowded classrooms with even a couple unruly kids makes their job even more difficult if not impossible. Try to discipline them and it's not uncommon for a student to tell the teacher that she will be fired.

wiffleur, you don't have to read anything I write: skip over it, but I won't write the Pollyanna stuff for you. Maybe you need to know a bit more about the school system yourself. Everyone LOVES simplistic answers. That's how the entire political system is working these days.

This is just another "feel good" solution and does nothing to deal with the real issues. I will state the case as I see it - you may call it whatever your please. And to the Grand Wazoo - duh! Maybe you should reread and "comprehend". I am 100% for the teachers!

Glad you went back and read the entire article, and I'm very familiar with the school system. Negative comments on something that is a step in the right direction shouldn't happen, be positive about something.....

I didn't go back and reread anything. Anyone who dislikes an independent thought starts their name-calling. Whine? Complain? I'm not "jumping on the feel-good" bandwagon to please you or any reader.

I'm stating what I think - consider it or not.

Have a wonderful day!

Unfortunately many people take a real life parenting test and fail--they have kids. They don't know how to raise them and have no good examples from their own parents. A program such as this one is great. It can serve as a gentle reminder to people who mean well, but just overlook their kids, or as a real parenting guide for those who have no clue!

It can serve as a reminder, but the parents that were absent before are still going to be. There are a lot of good parents that put in a lot of time with their kids, the school system, and community. Those parents are still going to "be there". Don't get me wrong I think its a great idea on paper. I just don't think for the money and effort involved it will make a lot of difference.

Sounds like a great program! Thanks for getting that grant to provide our school community with a positive!

Diana, apparently your not "well aware of what this little slogan is intended to do", as your first post completely missed the mark.

And how does this program not "deal with the real issues"? I've spent plenty of time in my kids' school and in my opinion, and many others, one of the major problems today is a lack of parental involvement. This is a program designed to directly deal with that issue. It's not the most comprehensive solution in the world, but it is better than doing nothing. Nothing is going to turn some of these deadbeat parents into Ward or June Cleaver, but a program like this will certainly benefit those kids whose parents just need a little push to get more involved.

Diana, do you even have kids or teenagers in Shenandoah Co schools?

Classic Diana. Her convictions and ideaology cloud her ability to read and understand. Then, like the kid who puts their hand up and says "oh,oh,oh" before the teacher is done asking the question to the class, she throws down her opinion. Sometimes I wonder if just like that same kid in class she does this in haste to be the first and to get noticed the most. To keep continuing in her quest to convey her devine wisdom to us. Then she will post a follow up comment not addressing her shortsightedness on her first post and changing up subject. I don't know because she is constantly here and not getting it. In this case, this article here is about getting parents to focus on our children maybe just a little bit more. It does not say anything about making parents who don't give a crap be parents who give a crap. It does not imply anything about helping or hurting overpopulation of classrooms. It has nothing to do with a teachers lack of power over students. It is not intended to be a MAGICAL SOLUTION. It is a little reminder to all great, good, mediocre and bad parents to stop and spend more time. In the big picture I don't know how much it will work, but just reading the article reminded me and I went over counting and abc's with my 4yr old last night instead of going to the garage and doing some things while watching the Orioles. Bottom line it is a positive program at 0 to minimal cost to the taxpayer. But she got that right.

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