Parking was tough around Sinclear Elementary School on Wednesday morning, Sept. 17. Chock it up to the estimated 375 parents who skipped work or their household routines to sit with their students in class as part of the fourth annual "Bring Your Parent to School Day."
Principal Connie Stark said the idea behind the morning event was to allow parents and even grandparents of the nearly 700 students to "see what's really going on at school."
"I hear parents say, ‘I see why they can't miss school or they miss a lot,'" said Stark.
She also hears comments like: "It was a lot different when I was in school" and "Wish I had paid attention then, I'd know more today."
"It's just the realization of how important school is," said Stark, "and what the amount of learning kids do each and every day."
Stark said most of the parents who attended had to take time off from work to tag along with their child.
"They want to support their kids and their education."
Teachers were instructed to do everything the same and not put on a dog and pony show. She said four years ago when the idea was presented, teachers were full of anxiety but now like the event.
Most parents in the 26 classrooms were given worksheets and learned right alongside their kindergartners through sixth-graders. Stark said that parents are instructed to turn off their cell phones while in class and is amused to see the dash back to them during the lunch break.
"It's hysterical," said Stark.
Mayra Leon took the morning off work to shadow her first grade son Julio and sixth-grade daughter Cassandra Leon.
"I believe in education. It's important for my kids," said Leon. "I'm going from fractions to adding - a big difference. He (Julio) was adding. What's the word, ‘bonding numbers.' "
Mayra said she feels like it's just another way to support her kids besides sitting down with them in the evening to help them with homework.
Stark said her school has the highest attendance of any Ceres school but can always do better to stress the need to attend school every day.
Parents also had the option to eat a school lunch if they signed up ahead of time.