Increased Parental Participation To be Focus of First Day of School

United Way Kicks Off 'First Day' Program

With Support of Board of Education President Ninfa Segarra

Sep 06, 2001, 01:00 ET from United Way of New York City

    NEW YORK, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- On September 6, parents and
 schoolchildren will celebrate two firsts -- the first day of school and First
 Day New York City, sponsored by United Way New York City (UWNYC).  First Day
 is an event designed to improve education by encouraging parental involvement
 with students and offering community support in public schools in all five
     As part of First Day, UWNYC staff and local community-based organizations
 (CBOs) will introduce themselves to parents at 50 public schools
 (38 elementary schools, 9 middle schools and 3 high schools) throughout the
 city in order to encourage them to become more involved in their children's
 education.  Parents will be provided with information packets containing
 helpful educational tips and activities designed to build learning
 partnerships between parents, CBOs, teachers and students throughout the
 academic year.
     Board of Education President Ninfa Segarra and UWNYC President Ralph
 Dickerson, Jr. will be on hand welcoming parents to P.S. 188, one of UWNYC's
 participating schools in lower Manhattan, and stressing the importance of
 parental involvement from the "First Day."
     "The first day of school traditionally brings out the most parents during
 the school year, and gives us a prime opportunity to reach out and encourage
 them to take an active role in their children's education," said Ralph
 Dickerson, Jr., President of United Way of New York City.  "We are committed
 to working with CBOs, parents and students to ensure that the efforts
 initiated on First Day are extended through the academic year."
     UWNYC expects to double last year's efforts by distributing more than
 20,000 information packets to parents that include: a parent's pledge form, a
 school calendar, healthy living information, a KinderKit fingerprint
 identification kit, reading tips for children and various school supplies.
 Last year 10,000 packets were distributed.
     The First Day program is part of an award-winning national program,
 created by the First Day Foundation ( which has been
 successful in other cities.
     First Day New York City is part of UWNYC's very successful Community
 Achievement Project in the Schools (CAPS) program -- a joint effort between
 United Way and the New York City Board of Education.  CAPS addresses the
 external barriers to academic success through its network of 102
 community-based organizations providing attendance improvement and dropout
 prevention services to students and families in over 160 schools designated by
 the New York City Board of Education.  In 2000-2001, the program served
 33,000 elementary, middle and high school students and 5,400 parents.
     UWNYC is a volunteer-directed organization committed to helping New York's
 most vulnerable citizens become and remain self-sufficient.  UWNYC funds a
 network of the most effective human service nonprofits in the five boroughs,
 and mounts collaborative initiatives, like CAPS, to address the community's
 most pressing human care needs.  United Way of New York City's work is made
 possible by the 2,000 companies and 300,000 individuals who contribute to its
 annual campaign.
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SOURCE United Way of New York City