Collage of photos of Vaughan Elementary School students playing with slime

"It's scary how much fun it is," shared one student who attended Slime and Crime, an event held at Vaughan Elementary School to promote family engagement and show parents what their student is learning at school and how they can assist their student at home.

The event provided students and their families with several activities including a math and science project - making slime out of household materials.

Families could also attempt to solve a mystery surrounding a stuffed animal crime scene. Students were given background information and could use inferences and observations to make deductive decisions. Teachers used this activity to show parents how they could help their students read at home.

"I think a lot of parents are working eight, nine, 10 hours," admitted Antuan Lee, a parent at Vaughan Elementary. "These events are opportunities to see what their students are learning and meet their teachers. It lets your kids know that you're concerned about their education."

Students were also provided souvenirs at the event. They could select a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch, candy from trunk-or-treating, and a free book to take home and read with their family.

"We're hoping that the families can come into the school and feel like part of the community again," explained Kayla McNamara, a Title I teacher at Vaughan. "It's been a while since we've been able to host these community events, so we're very excited to welcome our community back and get them involved in the students' learning again. Family engagement is such an important piece in building the school-to-home connection and relationship. We are happy to provide our families with resources, strategies, and tools to continue their students' success at home, as well as at school."

Mark Boyd, principal at Vaughan, shared, "Years of research have proven that when a school fosters partnerships with parents and families, students benefit. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we re-engage with our families to support our recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be a heavy lift, but with the support of the entire community, we can support every student with the tools that they need to be successful."