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Parents help make the difference

Tampa Catholic High School is a school where students are involved, of course, but parents also are involved. The Tampa Catholic Parent's Council goes beyond parental participation in education. It has found a way to tap the resource of parental ideas and involvement.

"Tampa Catholic has made many wonderful advances in the past few years, and a large part of the credit belongs to involved parents like you. We hope you will agree to serve in this special way." In this way, Tampa Catholic's administration invites, in writing, all parents to join the council. Parents respond by indicating what committee they wish to represent. These committees are: Development, Social Events, Activities, Sports and Communications.

The council is working on a Mass and picnic luncheon to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tampa Catholic. It also assists with the Gayle Sierens Golf Classic and the decoration and collecting of tickets for the Homecoming Dance, scheduled for Oct. 17.

"Most parents enjoy helping because they stay on top of what is going on at the school, plus parents should be involved," said Mrs. Deanna Richardson, whose daughter, Heather, is a senior at Tampa Catholic.

In addition to the mentioned projects, the council has many other responsibilities. These include public relations, writing grant proposals, pulling together the Quarterly Bulletin newsletter, and helping with dances and the annual Science Fair. The council does not do all of this alone. Parents who choose not to join the council but still want to be active may join the Parent Involvement Program. PIP, as it is called, offers more flexibility. Parents may help when it is convenient, notifying the school ahead of time of their availability. PIP is a successful group and equally active.

"This year, PIP workers helped to sell $30,000 worth of used books," said Patricia Arthur, director of advancement at Tampa Catholic.

PIP provides service to all areas concerning the school. It is a program designed to encourage people to help the school and Parent Council get things done.

Tampa Catholic has found a way to involve parents who wish to be a strong element in the school community. "I think people support what they help to create. Parents are paying a lot and need to assume ownership of what they are buying," Arthur said.

The programs give parents a chance to relate to the ideas and concerns of other parents. In addition, Mrs. Richardson added, "Parents approach the school with their concerns as a group instead of as a single parent."

The opportunities provided to parents shows how important Tampa Catholic thinks parents are to the overall health of the school.

Chris Kosiba, 17, a senior, is editor of the Tampa Catholic High School student newspaper, Taliesyn. He plans to study journalism or physical therapy in college.