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Investing in Latino Parents Today Brings Success Tomorrow December 18, 2012

Posted by latinoschoolleaders in Parent Engagement.
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By Gini Pupo-Walker, NCLR Fellow and Director of Family and Community Partnerships, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Padres Comprometidos graduatesThis past Sunday, two dozen Latino parents and their children gathered at Casa Azafrán, the new home of Conexión Américas, an NCLR affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee. They were there to celebrate the close of another successful semester as facilitators for Padres Comprometidos, the outstanding series of parent workshops developed by NCLR to inform and empower Latino parents across the country. These parents began as students in a Padres Comprometidos class, learning about adolescent development, role playing parent teacher conferences, and planning for their children’s college education. Upon graduating from the class, parents often volunteer to be trained as facilitators, suddenly and improbably becoming leaders and a trusted resource in their community.

In Nashville, and across the country, we have seen Latino parents come to get help with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applications, often bringing folders full of proof of doctors and dentist appointments, photographs of school soccer championships, report cards, honor roll certificates, perfect attendance awards, and high school diplomas. These papers reveal the incredible value that Latino parents place on the educational journey of their children. They savor every single success, yet too many Latino parents also experience anguish when their children turn to gangs, drugs, or dropout of school due to pregnancy.