This action research project attempted to identify the characteristics of parents who are highly engaged in the academic achievement of their children. The project focused on a group of parents whose children are in the 5th grade enrichment class at PS X, a Title 1 funded Public School in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The enrichment classes are populated with students who, in general, are performing at (or above) grade level expectations. The action researcher has observed strong parental involvement with parents whose children are in these classes. During the course of this project, the action researcher spoke with and surveyed parents to identify common characteristics that could be linked with the success of the children in this enrichment setting. .
After the surveys were analyzed and correlated it is clear that there are some connections to certain behaviors (i.e. reading to their child, coming to school functions, having a positive relationship with their child's teacher, and a feeling of responsibility for the academic success of their child) of the parents that translate to the academic success of the child. Additional research is needed to determine just how strong those correlations are compared with other classes and if there is a cultural connection and, ideally, if these behaviors can be shared and taught to other parents.
This action researcher has been given the opportunity to teach the 5th grade enrichment class. After five years at PS X, a Title 1 funded Public School in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York; this researcher felt it was an honor and a privilege to have been asked to lead this group of motivated learners. From the very beginning there was a notable difference about the parents' behavior; different from the parents of students in other non-enrichment classes this researcher has taught at PS X. The difference was their involvement.