Showers hosting Common Core sessions

Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 3:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 3:19 p.m.

Parents and students are invited to learn all they can about the Common Core Standards at Common Core Family Night sponsored by SEEK, a non-profit organization established at Showers of Blessings Harvest Center.



* What: Common Core Family Night, with information and interactive activities.

* When: 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, and also Nov. 14.

* Where: Showers of Blessings Harvest Center, 2615 SE 15th St.

* Information: Call 352-375-3589.

Natalie King, director of educational programs at Showers of Blessings, said Family Night will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday and also Nov. 14 at the church at 2615 SE 15th St. Those attending are asked to sign in at 5:45 p.m. both nights. It is free and open to the community.

Jackie Johnson, spokesperson for Alachua County Public Schools, said the Common Core Standards, which have been mandated by the state of Florida, establish a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade. Grade by grade, the standards spell out the reading and math skills that students must have as they go from kindergarten through high school.

On Thursday, the session will be geared toward language arts. The session on Nov. 14 will address math guidelines.

"It (Common Core Standards) requires kids to think critically and it's not rote memorization," said Natalie King. "It's a new way and we want to make parents aware of this."

Family Night will provide parents and students with important information and also interactive activities to help them navigate the newly implemented guidelines. It will be presented by the University of Florida Student Alliance of Graduates in Education, or SAGE, along with local teachers.

Natalie King said the program will begin with a 15-minute introduction of Common Core, followed by breakout sessions based on grade levels, such as kindergarten-second grade, third-fifth grade, sixth-eighth grade and ninth-12th grade.

"UF graduate students and local teachers will show parents how they can help their children and what's expected of their students," said Natalie King, adding that the Common Core Standards place high expectations on students and students will need their parents' support to meet those expectations.

The schedule for both nights will include:

* 6-6:20 p.m.: Overview of the Common Core Standards for parents and supervised homework time or activities for students.

* 6:25-7 p.m.: Breakout sessions for parents and students to engage in activities to show parents how they can help their students at home.

* 7-7:30 p.m.: Question-and-answer session, with snacks.

SEEK, or the Southeast Education Enterprises Kingdom Community Center, includes the FOCUS Summer Program, GED education, feeding the homeless, and other programs at the church.

Linda King, first lady of Showers of Blessings, is the CEO of SEEK, and Natalie King serves as the program director.

"We want to assist parents to remain an active part of their child's education," said Natalie King, "so they can assist their children as they matriculate kindergarten through 12th grade."

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