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Lincoln Elementary engages parents, students

Third-grader Danica Northrop reads with her mother Cyndee Egeness during this month's Learning With Lincoln Leaders at Lincoln Elementary. (Iain Woessner/The Dickinson Press)1 / 2
Marisa Armstrong shares a laugh with her son Roman as they and his classmate Noah Morel practice times tables in a third-grade classroom at Lincoln Elementary. (Iain Woessner/The Dickinson Press)2 / 2

On a quiet afternoon at Lincoln Elementary, the hallways are packed with parents. They glance at watches and wait with mounting anticipation, until an announcement crackles over the PA system to announce that they join their children in their classrooms.

This marks the second month for Learning with Lincoln Leaders, an event that brings parents and students together in the classroom.

"Every month we have parents come in, so they're engaged. It gets the students engaged with the parents and it gets the parents involved in the learning," said Tammy Peterson, principal of Lincoln Elementary. "I think it's a great opportunity to engage parents with what's going on in the classroom."

Turnout is strong, with well over 200 guests visiting the school, according to Peterson.

Each classroom is a bit different, with some having parents and students attentively listening to a teacher's lectures. Other classes may immediately break into smaller groups for parents to read or practice math problems with their little ones.

"I think it's an invaluable opportunity to be part of the classroom, learn a little bit more about what they're doing, being able to participate in activities," said Marisa Armstrong, mother of third-grader Roman Armstrong. "It's really important to have that home-school tie and it's amazing that Lincoln opens up their building and classrooms."

Bringing parents and students together was the main goal of introducing this program, Peterson said. They intend to host the program one day each month and so far the response has been positive, she said.

"Parents like it. If they can't make it they send grandma and grandpa or a special friend to join their child," she said, noting that the students also seem to enjoy the experience. "As you can see the hallways are lined with people."

The next date for Learning with Lincoln Leaders will be Jan. 26. Future events will be held on Feb. 23, March 23 and April 27.