The main purpose of this project is to help instructors tie the Crossroads Café Curriculum to school involvement, in order to make it more useful for parent programs and family literacy programs. By doing this, we hope to accomplish the following objectives:
1. Increase parents’ involvement in their children’s schools.
2. Increase parents’ understanding of their local school systems.
3. Increase literacy and communication in the home.
4. Increase understanding of the needs of LEP students and their families by school personnel.
5. Increase interaction between LEP and non-LEP families, leading to a better appreciation of diversity in the community.
This is not intended to be a curriculum or a series of lesson plans. These are suggestions for activities that can be implemented with the Crossroads Café curriculum to help promote school involvement. In some cases, tying school involvement was easy, such as Unit 2, which deals with permission slips and work study programs, and Unit 21, which deals with study techniques and school assessment. In some cases, it was a bit of a stretch, but we attempted to include as many pertinent facets of the school system as possible.
The articles and Internet sites are suggestions only, and it is expected that these will change over time. They are really meant to be resources and examples, and it is hoped that individual teachers will collect other articles from a variety of different sources, such as magazines and newspapers, which tie into the subject matter of Crossroads Café. Many of these articles have a low reading level, and can be read by intermediate ESL students. In multi-level classes, more advanced students can read the articles and then present the information to the beginning students. Other articles and websites are intended as resource material for the teacher and may be used as background material or may be summarized or simplified for the students to read.
Since the authors of this project come from a background of Family Literacy, it was natural to want to include children’s literature in this project. We have suggested at least one children’s picture book that ties into the theme or themes of each Crossroads Café unit. Many of these come from our personal backgrounds of rearing and teaching young children over a period of thirty years. In doing this project, we found a wonderful resource, The Children’s Picture Book Database at Miami University: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/pictbks/ We also made use of reviews found on Amazon.com. Another resource was the Jim Trelease Read Aloud Handbook. Jim Trelease has a website at http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/, which you might find useful.
In most of the units, we suggest using school forms and documents that pertain to the lesson. To make things easier, the teacher might want to visit local schools and obtain documents and information on school policies before starting the program. Following are some of the suggested items to use with Crossroads Café lessons:
Emergency Contact Card 1
Permission Slips 2
Information on district work experience program 2
Policy on parent volunteers in the school 2
School career day, job shadowing programs, and career counseling 3
Bilingual Education programs 4
School discipline policy 5
Schedules for typical school days at local schools 6
Computer use agreement/School computer policy 8
After-school programs 8
School personnel--names and pictures, if possible 9
Consumer Economics Curriculum 10
Policies on gangs and vandalism 12
Kindergarten readiness test 13
Policy on make-up work 14
Policy on absences (excused and unexcused), and illness (short and long-term) 14
School policies on public displays of affection and school dances 15
District specialists for learning disabilities and other special needs, 16
Also Early Intervention programs.
Bond issues, school building improvements 17
Warnings found in the school building 17
Policy/Rules on playground safety 18
School implementation of No Child Left Behind Law 19
Required standardized testing
Samples of report cards, information on the grading system 21
Information on parent/teacher conferences, sample of appointment slip 22
School policy regarding birthday parties and bringing treats to school 23
Applications for colleges and other educational programs 25 Information on SAT, ACT, and college placement tests
Each unit contains several sections including a brief synopsis of the Crossroads Cafe episode, field trips, guest speakers, web sites, discussion topics, school information or forms, family activity, research topic, and classroom activities. Each section is designated by an icon and not all units include all sections. A legend of the icons and what they represent is on the following page.
We hope this handbook will inspire you to incorporate school activities in your program with your Crossroads Cafe curriculum