What's the best way for schools to communicate with parents in this age of social media, mass emails, voicemails, robocalls, texts, print, video clips, television, radio and websites as well as in multiple languages?

Sometimes the best way is the simplest way: talk to them and listen to them.

All parents have dreams for their children and want the best for them.

While federal law requires that schools and school districts receiving federal funds through Title I program put into place various policies and parent compacts, the South-Western City School District views this as an opportunity to involve and engage parents in their children's education.

We begin every school year by welcoming our families into our school community. It's not just the student who joins the school community, but the entire family.

Meet the Teacher activities are many times attended by the whole family, not just those who attend the school.

The South-Western City School District is launching a new program called Family-School-Community Connect to help encourage dialogue and partnerships between parents, schools, community groups and local businesses.

Whether they live in Columbus, Grove City, Galloway, Urbancrest, or one of the townships within the SWCSD boundaries, when parents see the Family-School-Community Connect logo they will know they are welcome to attend the event wherever it is being held.

The Family-School-Community Connect Kick-Off event from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at the South-Western Career Academy, 4750 Big Run South Road, will help families develop connections with others in the community to provide additional resources that help nurture children and remove non-academic barriers for families.

Community and school organizations and programs will be clustered in three areas: social, health and education.

Parent surveys helped to guide selection of the initial participating organizations as well as the topics of interest to SWCSD parents.

Throughout the school year, we encourage families and the larger community to 'look for the logo' on an event flier to determine if it is school-specific or information for all, no matter where you live within the district.

The Family-School-Community Connect program is another way our schools are working to empower and support our most important asset: our children.

Sandy Nekoloff is the executive director of communications and community relations for the South-Western City School District.