For Immediate Release                                                                                                               
September 8, 2009

Illinois State Board of Education Urges Families to Start School Year with Good Study Habits

Studies show family participation and support increases chance of academic success

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education is encouraging parents to become involved in their children’s learning and to start the school year by establishing consistent home study habits. Studies have routinely linked parental involvement with higher student grades and test scores, more positive student attitudes and behaviors, and improved school environments.

"The start of the school year is the best time to establish new habits for both students and their families who play a vital role in their children’s academic success," said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. "Parents are their child’s first teacher. Family involvement strengthens student learning and improves academic achievement. Children with active family support are more likely to continue their education beyond high school and learn the social and behavioral skills that will help them throughout life."

Studies show that when parents are involved students have higher grades, test scores and graduation rates. They also enjoy better school attendance, increased motivation and self esteem. Family participation in education was twice as predictive of a student’s academic success as family socioeconomic status.

Some practical study tips and family involvement ideas include:

One resource for Illinois residents is the Lincoln-based Academic Development Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 1984 to assist families, schools and communities with children’s academic and personal development.  The ADI aims to help all children become self-directed learners, avid readers and responsible citizens.

"Schools do a great job of teaching knowledge and skills, but children’s attitudes toward school and their habits of studying, reading, and learning are largely built at home," said Sam Redding, executive director of the Academic Development Institute.  "That is why strong school communities take care to support parents in their critical role, and parents take time to nurture their children’s attitudes and habits for learning."

Parent information and resources from the ADI and the Illinois State Board of Education can be found at