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Rock the Block at Lewis Lemon Elementary School

Rock the Block at Lewis Lemon

Lewis Lemon Elementary School welcomed scholars and their families to kick off the new school year!

Principal Aleshia Jones and her staff donned their lions gear, fired up the grills, and welcomed scholars and their families for an afternoon of fun, food and music at an event called Rock the Block!

In previous years getting parents to attend school open houses has been a challenge at Lewis Lemon, but Mrs. Jones and her team know about the positive impact parents have on their scholars’ success when they are actively engaged with the school. “This is our version of an open house,” she said. “We wanted parents to have an opportunity to meet their child’s teachers, see their classrooms and ask questions, but we needed to do it in a way that encouraged families to attend and want to continue to come back.”

To ensure families came out for the Rock the Block event, the staff at Lewis Lemon started with the scholars. “Every day in class we were hyping up the event,” Jones said. “We were getting kids excited about being a member of our community and wanting to have their parents come and be involved. These truly amazing kids did much of the heavy lifting to get their parents there.”

It didn’t stop there. Staff continued to conduct outreach to parents personally inviting them out to the event. Their efforts paid off.

Kiara Burnell, a Lewis Lemon teacher, shared her experience:

I wanted families to be more engaged with teachers this year. In previous years there was always a gap between parents and teachers. I was able to connect with parents this year on a more personal level, and let them see we are all humans and here to help their child succeed. I have already noticed parents are more engaged this year in their child’s learning.

Emily Towle, another Lewis Lemon teacher, echoed her sentiment:

This was a terrific opportunity to meet parents and get to know them in a fun setting outside of a conference. Many of my students are still talking about the fun they had at the block party.

In addition to building relationships with families, Mrs. Jones and her staff wanted to provide needed resources to Lewis Lemon families. With a critical need to provide affordable school uniforms for their scholars, Lewis Lemon partnered with St. Mark Lutheran Church to organize a uniform co-op where families could purchase new uniforms for $4 and used uniforms for as little as $1.

“Providing needed resources for our families is just one of the many ways we hope to continue to strengthen the relationships we have with our families,” Mrs. Jones said.

The team at Lewis Lemon plans to build on the success of the Rock the Block open house. The last Thursday of every month, Mrs. Jones and her team have planned family fun nights in the school. “Giving families a sense of community and a cadence to connect and come together will only help strengthen our scholars and our school,” she said.

Next up is family fright night, where families can safely trick-or-treat around the school. It will be a frighteningly fantastic time!

Equity Department, RPS 205 globe

Rockford Public Schools Equity Department

The RPS 205 Equity Department's mission is to address systems that create inequities for students and staff across Rockford Public Schools.

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Equity
  • Lewis Lemon Elementary School