SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -There has not been much of a summer vacation for the folks at Parent University. They extended their last school year through the end of June and now they are already getting started on their next school year.
On Saturday, Michael O’Neal and Parent U will host their annual Reflection Gathering. This is the first event of a new season when they hear directly from participants in the program about changes and additions they would like to see. They use those recommendations to help set the upcoming year’s curriculum.
Saturday’s meeting will be a Zoom session with parents welcome to offer input to Parent University staff - the same way they have been shaping the program since it started in 2000.
“What we do is we gather our parents together and we ask them, how have we done? What can we do better? What do they envision? How can we serve them at this time? When you start off with an idea that’s pertinent to that time, you’ve got to be careful not to get stuck in that time. So, what we do is we ask our parents every year, we ask them during the year, but specifically at this time, how can we help you now? Now, I don’t think there’s a time any more clear that you need to take a pulse of people during current events than this year. I mean, so much has happened since January of this year. People’s lives are completely different. So, we can’t presume what they need, we think it’s best that they tell us,” said O’Neal
The Reflection Gathering is the only event every year is set up for the program’s staff and instructors to learn more than the parents that they are teaching. But Michael O’Neal believes what it really proves is something he has said many times before, that Parent University belongs to the parents.
And this is the reason why it is the first activity every year because we have to reaffirm every year. You know, we’re bigger than we were in 2000. We’re more recognized in a lot lot more places than we were and a dangerous possibility would be for us to think that we have it figured out and that now we don’t have to do this part anymore,” O’Neal said. “We have decided that it’s more important now to reaffirm this behavior of listening to our parents so that, as we venture out into other areas, we’re demonstrating that this principal of parental ownership never gets old, it’s always at the heart of what we do.
Parent University's reflection gathering will be from 10:30-12:30 this Saturday via Zoom.
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson and Police Chief Roy Minter will participate.