SOCORRO, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico school district is encouraging parents to get to know students better by inviting them to hang out at school. This is the first semester of Parents on Patrol.

The program, which is called Parents on Patrol, has a simple goal to give parents an opportunity to spend time with students.

Meet Carmen Marquez: she’s one of a handful of parents who have signed up to be part of a new program at Socorro Consolidated School District. Her husband joined her in signing up after learning Parents on Patrol was designed for parents to have more interaction with students at the middle and high school levels.

“It does take a community to raise your children, so I think we all really need to be there for each other, and I’m there to watch out for their kids just like how I hope they’d be there for mine,” said Marquez.

School Board President Dave Hicks said he was looking for a way to get parents more involved in their children’s education. He got the idea from a program called “Dads on Patrol” in Louisiana.

“It’s really exciting to watch it start to take off and start to go. It’s starting a little slow,” said Hicks.

Parents usually greet students in the morning and interact with students during lunchtime. Parents who are interested in volunteering have to go through training and a background check before they can start volunteering at the schools.

Marquez said even her employer, a physical therapy company, is on board and encouraging other employees who have kids to get involved in the program.

“I also think parents need to take more of a proactive role in their children’s education, and if that means you’ve got to be there in the trenches with the teachers and kinda experience what they’re experiencing,” said Marquez.

Parents who are interested in being part of the program should contact the school district or the school’s principal.