New York-based entrepreneur Jonah Engler has achieved success in a range of business endeavors. Yet, he considers his job as a parent of three children to be his most important. Jonah Engler strives to put family connections first in his life, making a conscious decision to be a consistent presence in his children’s lives and schooling.
Educational researchers have demonstrated that parents’ involvement in their children’s learning, and their encouragement to do well in school, produce long-lasting positive results. And this involvement benefits not only students, but the greater society as well.
Investigators across dozens of studies have found that, rather than family income or social class, the most significant factor in how well children do in school is the involvement of the parents. Researchers who reviewed a number of studies on the topic reported the wide-ranging benefits when parents set up a home environment conducive to learning, stay connected to the school community, and establish high but realistic expectations for their children’s achievement. And not only do children benefit academically, but their social skills improve and they are less likely to become involved with drugs or alcohol.
Parents can demonstrate their commitment to boosting their children’s success by helping with homework, meeting teachers and classmates, and becoming active in school sports and other organizations.
As a partner with Wireless Zone, Jonah Engler recently created a network of 22 franchises across four states. As a means of giving back to his community, Jonah Engler supports the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the New York affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. In addition to advocating for the interests of New York City public school educators, the organization keeps members informed about important topics related to education and fights for important gains among students.
In late December, members of the UFT joined individuals from the Lunch 4 Learning coalition to deliver more than 9,000 postcards directly to New York City Hall. These postcards were all written by parents of public school students to ask that free lunch be provided to all children in the school system. At present, more than 76 percent of students in the city already qualify for either free or reduced-price lunches because of the income level of their parents.
Educators worry that many student go hungry because of the stigma of receiving free and reduced lunches. Rather than feel the shame associated with the process, children simply go without food. Estimates show that an additional 47,000 students would eat lunch if it became free for every student. Because the federal and state governments cover so much of the cost, the city would pay less than a dollar per student.
New York business leader Jonah Engler splits his time between working as a successful business executive and spending time with his three children. An active member of his community, Jonah Engler supports several organizations and has donated to the United Federation of Teachers in the past.
A federation of nurses, teachers, and professionals who work in the five boroughs of New York City, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) maintains numerous assistance programs for its members, including the Peer Intervention Program (PIP). Designed for teachers and guidance counselors experiencing professional issues or struggling with teaching, the program gives them the opportunity to take control of their professional lives and address the problems they face.
PIP provides members with one-on-one help from experienced colleagues. Together, members work to develop individualized development plans to help those who are struggling overcome their shortcomings and highlight their strengths. In addition to talking with colleagues, members can talk to PIP career counselors. All help provided through PIP is confidential and voluntary, and members also have access to mental health practitioners through the program.