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CCISD holds Family Engagement Day over Spring Break

Cove Leader-Press
CCISD invited students of all ages along with their families to join the school’s Family Engagement Day.
The event was held at Copperas Cove Junior High School and included lessons on teaching students how to handle their emotions and parents about different teaching styles. The event culminated in an Olympic-style event crowning two teams (three families) as the “championship family”.
CCISD provided lunch to attending families. The event also included face painting, a petting zoo, and outside activities.
The first half of the event focused on teaching the students and families various skills to improve family engagement. The parents talked about what their own parents’ teaching styles were like and comparing them. 
“We’re working on improving [parents’] relationship with their kiddos so that they can be successful,” said Rhonda Burnell, Director of Behavioral Support Services, about the goal of the Family Engagement Day. “This is another way that Copperas Cove is investing in our students and their families. We’re bringing them together today to teach them those very important basic skills…To help the families have success means that our students have success in the classroom as well.”
Stephanie Barron attended the event with her daughter Madison Sims (7), a Hettie Halstead Elementary School 1st grader. Barron said that she signed up for it as soon as she saw the flyer online.
“It’s just something fun to get out and do,” said Barron. “She can enjoy the activities and the family-friendly competition.”
Barron said that she learned that some of the problems and situations that she has with her own children are very common. She admitted that sometimes she feels like she’s doing something wrong, but she realized that there are a lot of other parents going through the same things as she does and who feel the same way that she does as well.
For one of the activities, the children were asked to pick their favorite animal, and Sims chose the “hammer shark” because “They’re big and creepy.” She said that she was enjoying the event and thought that they (especially her mom!) would do well in the Olympic competition.
The Olympic-style competition was arguably the most exciting activity for the day. 
Families were separated into 16 teams of four people each. Families with fewer than four people were divided to make the teams even.
For the competition, families had to choose a family member to do an egg race, followed by another for the sack race. Afterwards, all four teammates were tethered together in a manner similar to a two-legged race. Then, they asked for the youngest teammate to guide the oldest teammate blindfolded over a tire and through a mini obstacle course. Finally, the race culminated in a tug-of-war.
“We are focusing on teamwork and communication,” said Burnell about their Olympic competition. “Parents have to be blindfolded and listen to their kids giving the instructions for a change.”
The competition ultimately ended in a tie as they had two prize packages to give away.
Winners were Shalom Taylor, Zoey Taylor-Young (4), and Joel Young from one family, Jennine Trejo and Phillip Bittinger (7) from another family, and Victoria Manning (15), Keelan Brandon (6), Veronica Brandon, and Norris Manning (17) from the final family.
“It was fun,” said Shalom Taylor. “I thought it was a great idea for the kids to get out and mingle with others and get to meet each other.”
“It feels very good,” said Zoey Taylor-Young.
“I fell, but I just pulled while I was falling,” said Phillip Bittinger about why they won their final tug-of-war victory.
“It was fun and exciting!” said Keelan Brandon. Brandon said that his favorite event was the tug-of-war.

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