CMH's Parent Stars Program Expands in the 2022-23 School Year

June 5, 2023
A family at Holmquist Elementary (Alief ISD) takes part in a Parent Stars science event underwritten by United Way of Greater Houston.

Parent Stars Attendance Up 70% Compared to Last Year

The Museum’s Parent Stars program continues to bounce back in a big way. In the 2022-23 school year, 27,000+ parents and children attended Parent Stars Family Learning Events at 135 schools in 17 districts. To ensure accessibility, events are free for families, and most are held in the evening so that parents who work during the day can attend. The Museum’s experienced educators lead the events, which are presented in a bilingual format when Spanish-speaking families are in attendance.

Parent Stars events show families how basic materials such as dried beans, rice or even colored cereal (pictured above) can be used for math and literacy activities. This family is exploring patterns at a Parents Stars event at Park Place Elementary (Houston ISD) that was underwritten by INVISTA.

Parent Stars events create a fun, festive atmosphere that empowers parents and promotes togetherness. In April, an administrator at Sneed Elementary shared that Parent Stars “provides opportunities for families to connect while engaging in academic, fun activities. I saw divorced parents that have had [struggles] come together for their child. I also saw multi-generational families participating. Parents love these nights. The turnout is always amazing. Thank you for what you do for families." Parents are equally enthusiastic, commenting on how Parent Stars events are enjoyable, accessible and educational. Parents also appreciate the screen-free family time, with a parent writing to say, “Keep coming to Outley [Elementary School]! It is an easy way to get kids away from iPads/games.”

Parent Stars’ positive impact goes beyond a single evening. The event’s educational activities use simple materials like paper plates, cups, and string, so that parents on a budget can recreate them at home. Best of all, each family goes home with a CMH Open Doors pass for up to six people, so they can continue to learn by visiting the Museum at no charge. And for students who couldn’t make it to the Parent Stars event? They receive free Open Doors passes, too. In the 2022-23 school year, the Museum distributed 105,000 Open Doors passes to students at Parent Stars schools.

This mother and son at Ridgemont Elementary (Fort Bend ISD) are making a number guessing game, one of many Parent Stars activities that parents can use at home to support their children's learning. This event was underwritten by The George Foundation.

Parents Stars is one of the Museum’s many programs aligned with its goals of supporting parents as children’s first teachers and building partnerships to increase educational equity and reduce opportunity gaps. CMH’s Family Learning Events are generously supported by the United Way of Greater Houston, INVISTA, and The George Foundation, as well as with schools’ Title I funds.