These tough economic times translate to more stress on our time, and that's especially true for the parents of the 21st century.

The soccer moms are still busy balancing schedules, but now parents must work longer hours to satisfy the family budget. Our diverse society includes so many from cultural and economic backgrounds that the path to a successful future is even more challenging for our children.

Aware of the strains on our time, state officials have proclaimed October "Parent Involvement Month" in Pennsylvania. The main thrust of is to draw attention to the need for parents to become more involved in their children's education.

The state has resources available through the Pennsylvania's Parent Information Resource Center. This valuable service tool provides training and consultation to urban, rural and suburban communities. Their Web site is http://www.center-school.org/pa-pirc/ [1]

Mark Lewis, director of the state's PIRC program, said that the more parents are involved in their child's learning, the greater the chances are for achieving later success in life. Creating a home environment which encourages good learning habits can go a long way in accomplishing that mission. The school and community can also partner in that quest to help our children become lifelong learners and community contributors.

The governor's proclamation acknowledges the fact that since parents are their children's first teachers, they are the strongest influence in their children's readiness for and success in school. A child's pathway to success is made much smoother when the parents, schools and community organizations work together.

Every parent's hope is that their child can forge a better life and write their own success story. Parent Involvement Month is an opportunity for parents to help their children achieve their dreams.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com [2]