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Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health

Children and adolescents are establishing patterns of behavior that affect both their current and future health.
Young people are at risk for engaging in tobacco, alcohol, or other drug use, participating in violence or gang activities, and initiating sex at an early age. However, a growing body of research demonstrates that enhancing
protective factors in the lives of children and adolescents can help them avoid behaviors that place them at risk for adverse health and educational outcomes.
Protective factors include personal characteristics such as educational or career goals; life conditions such as frequent parental presence in the home at key times (e.g., after school, at dinner time); and behaviors such as involvement in pro-social activities (e.g., school or community sports).
Engaging parents in their children’s and adolescents’ school life is a promising protective factor. Research shows that parent engagement in schools is closely linked to better student behavior, higher academic achievement, and enhanced social skills. Parent engagement also makes it more likely that children and adolescents will avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use.
This publication defines and describes parent engagement and identifies specific strategies and actions that schools can take to increase parent engagement in schools’ health promotion activities. The audiences for this publication include school administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and others interested in promoting parent engagement.

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).