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- Read, sing and listen to your children.
- Read the books your older children read either for fun or for school, so you can discuss them. Consider a summer family book group. Reading Rockets has ideas.
- Encourage children to imagine what it would be like to have the jobs of the people you see.
- Keep paper, pencils, markers and other art supplies readily accessible. Very young children learn important motor skills that will be helpful when they go to school and older children can express their creativity and ideas through art.
- Do homework together. When your children are doing homework, pull out a book for yourself and read, pay bills or do other work at the same time. Provide a quiet space for your children to do homework and model “working” at home for them. The U.S. Department of Education offers tips.
- Have a household budget and let your kids know what it takes for your family to meet its financial goals. United Way offers tips for becoming financially stable. Also check familybudgets.org for ideas.
- Read, talk and sing to and with your children from an early age. Tell stories and encourage your children to make up their own. Play rhyming games and make up songs. Talk to your children, and listen to what they have to say.
- Discuss the jobs and employment with your children. Talk about the people you see in your neighborhood and in the community and the different kinds of jobs they have. Encourage your child to imagine what it would be like to be a mechanic, a store clerk, a doctor, a road worker, or the person who designed or built the road and the vehicles on it.
- Teach financial literacy. Teach your children about money and saving and what it costs to get by in this world. The National Financial Literacy Council has financial literacy information for children, teens and adults.
- Turn off the TV and game consoles! Play games, read, do an art project, get outside and find ways to have fun without the TV or computer.
- Acknowledge a job well done! Talk with your children about their school work and congratulate them for their accomplishments. Let them know that their academic success is important to you and to their future.
- Model a good work ethic in your own job and let your children know that attending school and always doing their best is their job.
- Volunteer in your neighborhood library. Support neighborhood book drives and volunteer to be a storytime reader or a reading buddy.
- Organize Play and Learn playgroups in your neighborhood. These sessions help parents and children. The National Association for the Education of Young Children offers these tips.
- Spread the word for “Kindergarten Round Up” at your neighborhood elementary school. Help neighborhood children and their parents be prepared for the new school year by organizing play dates at the school playground and maybe a visit to the school library.
- Never stop learning. Take classes and increase your job skills. Workforce Solutions has a one stop shop for job skills training and employment services.
- Participate in a Career Day at your child’s school. Volunteer for career day to share information about your profession or recruit others in the community.
- Provide school administration with information on high demand jobs. Workforce Solutions Capital Area regularly analyzes the regional labor market, looking for industry and occupational trends.
- Mentor a child or volunteer to be a “reading buddy."
- Volunteer in your child’s school. The organization Great Schools has ideas.
- Participate in parenting classes. Any Baby Can offers free parenting classes several times a week and improves the lives of children by strengthening them and their families through education, therapy and family support services.
- Encourage your school to offer parenting classes and training for teachers in how to help children develop into resilient, self-sufficient learners.
- Don’t pull children out of school for non-emergencies. Let your children know that attending school matters. Let your children know that being to school on time every day is important to you. Model this work ethic in your own professional life.
- Prepare for the jobs that pay well. Identify targeted occupations and develop your personal skills to attain a job that provides a liveable wage.
- Take Advantage of adult education programs. Some resources are:
- Encourage your employer to provide workplace training for all skill levels.
- Adopt a school and volunteer with co-workers.
- Look for ways to improve your own skills.
- Support quality child care. Encourage your employer to provide on-site day care or to offer child care benefits to employees.
- Adopt a school and get co-workers involved. Suggest that your place of employment partner with a school in a low-opportunity neighborhood and regularly provide mentors, tutors or speakers for career day.
- Provide parenting classes. Schedule brown-bag parenting classes and classes about early childhood development. Parents can also learn from each other.
- Donate books. Hold a book drive and donate books to child care centers and schools.
- Consider an internship or summer employment program for students from low-opportunity high school so they can learn about your industry, the jobs that are available, and the training required for those jobs. The Travis County Department of Health and Human Resources offers this page on its Work-Based Learning/Summer Youth Employment Program.
- Promote living wages for all workers. Encourage your employer to offer living wages for all employers and contractors. Visit universallivingwage.org and M.I.T.'s Living Wage Calculator for more information.
- Get involved with the local Chamber of Commerce and volunteer for your Chamber’s education initiatives.
- Utilize the Work in Texas system to promote job postings and find matches with potential job seekers.
- Encourage your place of worship or civic organization to adopt a school. Suggest that your congregation or organization partner with a school in a low-opportunity neighborhood and regularly provide reading buddies, mentors, tutors or speakers for career day.
- Provide English as a Second Language classes or an interview clothes closet in your facility.
- Offer parenting classes so parents can learn about child development and parenting tips from experts and share their own experiences with other parents in a supportive environment.
- Offer scholarships for Mother’s Day Out and childcare programs offered through your congregation or non-profit.
- Create a library and computer room for children to use to learn or study in a safe environment.
- Hold a book drive and donate books to child care centers and schools.
- Expand your food pantry to offer other types of support. If you operate a food pantry, consider expanding services to include a clothes closet, English as a Second Language classes, on-site help in resume building and job searching, and enrollment assistance for public benefits.
- Have volunteers available to read to children of the people who come to your organization seeking assistance. Let the children chose a book to take home with them.
- Support organizations that empower low-income adults and/or children to learn new skills and improve their lives.
- Provide work readiness services and supports. Maybe your place of worship or service can offer a clothes closet with work-appropriate clothing, or offer help with resumes and job interviewing skills.
- Have a Minimum Wage Challenge at your congregation, service organization or non-profit. Challenge yourself and others to live off a minimum wage budget for one month and see what it is like for low-income workers.
- Offer financial literacy and sustainable budget classes at your facility.