Ypsilanti Public Schools elementary school strengthens bonds with Black parents through ‘Involvement Day’ event
February 14, 2024

National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) drew dozens of families and community members to Erickson Elementary School on Feb. 12 as Ypsilanti Community Schools joined other districts across the country in encouraging parents to become more involved in local education opportunities.

The annual event is celebrated nationally on the second Monday of February. Though the focus is to specifically to engage parents and students within Black communities, families of all backgrounds are welcome to take part, said Erickson Elementary Principal Kelly Mickel.

Through events like NAAPID and regular “family fun nights,” Erickson Elementary administrators put a lot of effort into bridging the gap between home and the classroom for students. Such events aim to remove a lot of the “unknown” for parents regarding their child’s education, as well as teach things to do at home to support their child’s learning and more ways to become involved in their local school system, Mickel said.

Along with classroom visits that allowed parents to read and learn alongside their kids Monday, NAAPID events at Erickson also included free breakfast and lunch for visiting families and a group read-along featuring children’s books on the Black experience. Sandy Todd, a Title I reading interventionist at Erickson, also gave a presentation on strategies to help children read more at home, and allowed families to pick from a wide selection of free books to take home with them.

Monday’s event drew in at least 27 families from the district and around 12 community members including a presentation on Black history in America with a focus on the community and school-centric work done by advocacy groups past and present.


By:  Mitchell Kukulka
Photos: Kelly Mickel