Milton Hershey School Empowers Parents/Sponsors with SEL Workshops
As part of the Our Future in Focus 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, Milton Hershey School is working to strengthen partnerships with parents/sponsors to deepen the sense of belonging, contributions, and collaboration among students, staff, and parents/sponsors. Through social and emotional learning workshops, MHS hopes to grow its partnership with parents/sponsors to better support students in the classroom and at home.
“Numerous studies have shed light on the benefits of involved sponsors with the educational outcomes of students,” said Jay Garvey, MHS Manager of Family Relations and Student Transitions. “Among other advantages, family involvement in schools has shown benefits to helping students earn higher grades and test scores, enroll in higher-level programs, and develop better social skills that show improved behavior.”
At Milton Hershey School, parents/sponsors are enrolled in the Spartan Sponsor Academy, where they are engaged with programming throughout each school year in modules that provide education, training, and supportive programs.
To continue this programming, MHS Family Relations partnered with Student Support Services, the Compass Project, and Home Life to create Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) workshops for sponsors to participate in. The overall goal was to equip sponsors with curriculum that students are learning within their student homes, along with houseparents, so they can better support their child to become their greatest self.
During the 2019-20 school year, MHS held five SEL workshops on campus including three interactive stations themed on Compass Project skills within the MHS Sacred Values. In total, 214 parents/sponsors attended, representing 238 MHS students.
This school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MHS had to quickly shift these in-person SEL workshops to virtual learning sessions through Zoom webinars. Starting in November 2020, MHS held four virtual SEL workshops, welcoming 279 parents/sponsors through live and recorded sessions.
“We were thrilled with the participation from our parents/sponsors and hope that they left feeling equipped with valuable social and emotional learning skills that will help them better support their child in partnership with Milton Hershey School,” said Dr. Beth Shaw, MHS Executive Director of Student Support Services.
Milton Hershey School is carefully following federal and state guidelines, CDC considerations, and MHS-established health and safety protocols to keep our campus a safe, nurturing, and healthy place. Any group photos of unmasked subjects were taken prior to the face coverings mandate.