The Importance of Connecting with Parents


Parents are the primary educators of their children. At home, children first learn virtues by the example of their parents and other family members that set them up for success later in life. However, with the many conflicting messages being sent to young minds by the media and our culture, many parents need help supporting the academic and moral growth of their children.

Summit's Parenting Program aims to do just that - by connecting with parents through seminars, family gatherings, and meetings with their child's mentors, Summit gives parents the tools to help manage their child's growth and best prepare them for the future.

Without a partnership with parents who are committed to supporting changes in the behavior of their children, any improvements that kids make at Summit will only be short term. The Parenting Program at Summit motivates parents to help their sons and daughters learn virtues by helping them better understand what those crucial habits are. Summit also helps parents to understand the importance of academics in the lives of their children and the time commitment that is necessary to set aside at home for homework. Lastly, Summit emphasizes the need for a united family - the team effort of a child's mother and father create a strong support system that greatly affects their child's ability to succeed.

Summit gives concrete ways for parents to learn more about their role in raising their children and helping them grow in the different areas of their lives:

  • Parent - Student Interview - Summit Program Directors meet with each student and their parent before they join any of Summit's tutoring and mentoring programs. During these interviews, each student commits to striving for improvement in their academics and character, and their parent commits to supporting their child and helping them to grow in these areas. 
  • Parent Seminars - Summit holds parent seminars a few times each year that focus on the virtues that kids need and on creating a home environment that help kids learn these virtues. After a talk on a specific topic given by Summit staff or a guest speaker, parents love to participate in discussions and share their own experiences relating to the topic with their own children. Being able to talk about these things with other parents engages the Summit parents and hits home in a special way.
  • Meetings with their Child's Mentor - Parents meet with their child's mentor - who has established a strong relationship and personal friendship with their child - regarding the academic and personal development of their child. These meetings help both the parents and the mentor focus on the needs of the child, and together they can help his or her growth. 
  • Family Gatherings - Summit hosts a couple of large family gathering each year; a Christmas Party at the end of the Fall Semester for the One-On-One Tutoring and Mentoring Program, and a Summit Summer Olympics Awards Ceremony at the end of the summer program. Families love to come and bring a dish to share with the other families while enjoying each other's company. The girls' perform a dance for their families that they have been preparing for throughout the summer, and parents love seeing their daughters perform for them.
Nicole Heger