News: Getting the parents involved
Story by Pfc. Garrett White
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. - The Child Development Center on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., held its quarterly Parent Advisory Board meeting at the CDC, Oct. 18.
The PAB is a way for parents to communicate with the CDC on any issues, complaints, or suggestions for the CDC program, said Kristi Baker, assistant director of the child development program here.
Marine Corps Order P1710.30E requires the CDC to establish meetings with the PAB quarterly, said Baker.
In the past the CDC has had problems with getting parents to show up to the meetings, said Carey Carr, director of the children youth and teen program here. They tried different times, better advertisement, but nothing seemed to work.
For this meeting, the CDC tried something different, said Carr.
Three to four times a year the CDC holds a family dinner, a separate event, for parents and children; this normally gets good attendance, added Carr.
Seeing this as a good incentive to get gain parent involvement with the PAB, the CDC decided to combine the family dinner with the PAB meetings.
This approach was a lot more successful, explained Carr, in the past, as few as a single parent would show up to the meetings; this time several parents got involved. Carr even had a parent sign up to be the PAB chairperson. This will facilitate coordinating future meetings between the CDC and parents.
In addition to the combining the PAB meetings with the family dinner, the CDC also created a point system to encourage parent attendance. The more involved the parents are, the more points they earn, explained Carr. The points add up to be used as discounts on their CDC bill.
Ultimately, the goal is to improve parent involvement and the CDC program as a whole, said Baker.
“We encourage parent involvement because it's better for the children to have their parents involved,” said Carr. “Hopefully it (the PAB meetings) will bring in some good suggestions to improve the program.”