Epiphany seeks close partnerships with our students’ caregivers. We refer here to all parents, grandparents, extended families, and guardians as caregivers because many of our students are being raised by people other than their biological parents. There are many different facets to our partnerships with caregivers.
Strong caregivers make better schools, and active schools make better caregivers. By modeling patience, enthusiasm, and a deep regard for each individual child’s accomplishments and struggles, schools and caregivers can reinforce or inspire newfound appreciations and respect for one another. Because the faculty at Epiphany is so committed to each student, teachers and caregivers form deep bonds. They are linked by their shared dreams for each child.
Epiphany, through its program and passion, provides support for children that encourages caregivers to grow. There is evidence that many caregivers improve their economic situation and access educational opportunities during their child’s years at Epiphany. While additional research is needed to understand all factors involved, we believe that having their child safe at school every day for 12 hours allows caregivers to pursue new opportunities. Epiphany hopes to eventually commit more resources to the needs of caregivers. This could include adult education classes such as ESL and computer skills, library books for adults and younger siblings, and parenting support classes.
Caregivers contribute all manner of gifts to the school. By fulfilling their two-hour a week work requirement, caregivers respond to crucial needs in the school. Caregivers act as carpool drivers, meal preparers, tutors, development assistants, receptionists, and as part of the cleaning team at Epiphany. Another facet of our partnership is empowering the caregivers to find their collective voice and to encourage Epiphany’s excellence. We hope their involvement in Epiphany will lead to advocacy for children in other schools and communities.
Epiphany measures its success on the extent to which each student discovers and develops their individual gifts. A crucial component of this work is forging an active and close partnership with caregivers.