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Parent Involvement in Project ALERT

Parent with Teen

Research has demonstrated the importance of including parents as partners in prevention efforts. Therefore, nearly all of the core lessons include a homework assignment designed to be completed with a parent. These assignments are best viewed as “home learning opportunities” that make it easier for parents to engage in conversations with their children about drugs and reinforce the learning that occurs in the classroom. Translated homework assignments are available for Spanish-speaking homes.

Sometimes Project ALERT teachers express concern or skepticism about parents’ willingness to collaborate in the home assignments. In these cases, another trusted adult, such as an extended family member, adult friend, or school staff, may be enlisted to provide that support. Others worry that the home assignments might be viewed as intrusive to family privacy. Teachers can reassure parents that the information will not be shared in class. One way to encourage positive home learning experiences is to provide a letter explaining the curriculum at the beginning of the Project ALERT course. A sample parent letter is located in Lesson One, and can be sent home to parents with the first homework assignment. This letter can be downloaded and adapted and is available in both English and Spanish.

Since the intent of the home assignments is to facilitate discussion about drugs with a parent, the assignments cannot be graded in the traditional way. Instead, many teachers provide participation points for completed assignments. A note signed by the parent can be used to verify completion for those parents reluctant to return their responses to class.

The parent letter, in both English and Spanish, can be found in My Project ALERT under Core Lesson 1.

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