Together, there's nothing we can't achieve

  Takkara Delaney with her boys Tyree, Tyler and Tyson at her Stand Up for Parents graduation on December 19, 2017.

Takkara Delaney with her boys Tyree, Tyler and Tyson at her Stand Up for Parents graduation on December 19, 2017.

My name is Takkara Delaney and I’m proud to be a Stand Up graduate and a parent advocate from IPS school 43. My three boys, Tyree, Tyler and Tyson, and I are new to Indianapolis. We relocated just a few months ago from Georgia.

When I enrolled them in school 43, I also asked about volunteer opportunities at the school and what I could do to help, and began talking to some of the other parents at the school. One parent gave me some information about Stand for Children and how I could get involved to help build a parent group at the school. Like me, other parents had noticed a gap somewhere between students, teachers, administrators and parents that we felt needed to be filled.

Going through the Stand UP course, I learned what rights as parents we have regarding discipline, and how we can advocate for change. Armed with that information, a group of us parents went to the principal and asked him how we could help teachers decrease the disruptive behavior and reduce the number of children being disciplined. Thankfully, the principal was glad to have our input and wanted to work with us to help our kids.

We offered solutions and not complaints. We came to an agreement that certain discipline would no longer happen and that as parents we would do our part to help teachers in the classroom. We offered to give one-on-one help to students being disruptive in class so that teachers can focus on the rest of the students. We also put together a teacher survey to find out what other help they needed from us. And now, we’re drawing up a parent-school contract to lay out what we’re prepared to do as parents to lend a helping hand.

Efforts like these are what Stand is all about. And I will always be thankful for this course because it gave me the tools to advocate not just for my children, but for all the other kids at 43, too.

Stand UP also helped me discover that I’m not alone. Other parents feel the same way I do. And together, we learned that if we come together as a unit, we can create change and take the school to a better place. We’re all working for a common goal—to get our kids the best education possible. And if we can keep an open line of communication with teachers and administrators in IPS, the sky is the limit for what these children can achieve.

To every parent out there, remember, you’re not alone. We all see the need for improvements in our schools. Reach out. Help in some kind of way. It’s not about having money. It’s not about having lots of time. It’s about being an active voice and communicating with the school and with other parents about what’s best for our kids.

I challenge every parent to make a commitment to get involved and to take real action. I promise you, I’m going to do my part. And my fellow graduates are too. Working together as Stand UP parents, we can make a difference. We can help turn this school system around and make it the success we want it to be, and that our children need it to be.

As long as we work together and keep standing for children—my children and your children—there’s nothing we can’t achieve.

Originally appeared on Stand for Children Indiana's Blog