Parents play an important role in their child's academic success.

When parents and community groups support learning, children do better in school, enjoy it more and are more likely to stick with it, according to a study by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.

If you haven't yet found a way to make a difference in your child's school, now is the perfect time: Nov. 17 is National Parental Involvement Day.

Need ideas? Project Appleseed is a national advocacy organization dedicated to improving the public school experience. For suggestions on how to get involved and why it's important, go to projectappleseed.org.

The National Education Association also offers tips on ways parents can make a difference in their student's academic life. Check them out at nea.org/grants/60925.htm.

- Melissa Kossler Dutton