Health Tip: 'Connected' Students Do Better

Students who feel a like they belong at school have a greater chance of doing well and staying there, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Research confirms that children who feel "connected" to school are more likely to get better grades, stay in school longer, have higher test scores and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking, having sex or carrying a gun, the agency says.

The CDC suggests:

  • Encourage your child to talk openly with you, teachers, counselors, and other school staff about his or her ideas, needs and worries.
  • Find out what the school expects of your child by talking to teachers and staff, attending school meetings and reading information the school sends home.
  • Help your child with homework, and teach the child time-management skills.
  • Encourage your child to help others at home, at school and in the community.
  • Meet regularly with your child's teachers to discuss his or her grades, behavior and accomplishments.
  • Help in your child's classroom, attend after-school events or participate in a school committee.
  • Offer to share aspects of your culture with your child's class.

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