Immigrant parents come to this country hopeful and determined to make a better life for their children. But, the path to success isn’t always easy. As children grow up and go to school, parents face the challenge of navigating the school system in a foreign country where they might not speak the language.
Padres Comprometidos, or Parents as Partners, seeks to bridge that gap and empower parents to reclaim their role as their children’s most important teacher. This year, the program celebrated its 10th anniversary at Conexión Américas.
Developed by UnidosUS, the largest Latino advocacy and civil rights organization in the US, Padres Comprometidos is a 6-9 week workshop series led by Conexión Américas and a team of Latino parent volunteers trained as facilitators, which aims to forge a working relationship between Latino parents and schools, to ultimately improve their children’s academic achievement. The program is delivered in Spanish, and uses a specific curriculum for pre-k, elementary and middle school parents. The series emphasizes a parent-to-parent approach, and always ends with a parental graduation ceremony.
Workshops cover topics such as how to advocate for your child within the school system, how to help your child graduate from high school and plan for college, how to build positive self-esteem and motivate your child to be successful, how to communicate effectively with school staff and how to support literacy and foster a strong learning environment in the home.
Since 2008, we have brought the program to 33 different Nashville Metro schools, serving 2,045 parents who represent 4,847 students.
The celebration honored several volunteer parent facilitators who have given their time, wisdom and joy to breathe life into the program. Honorees included Yazmin Rivera, Marcela Castaño, Erika Jiménez, Angélica González, Antonia Villalobos, Santiago Ramirez, Liceet Peña, Liliana Rodriguez, Ana Bertha Carmona, Adriana de León and Juan Escarfuller.
For their decade long commitment and support as parent facilitators, we honored Alma Rosa González, Ramón González and Mercedes Almaraz. Alma Rosa, Ramón and Mercedes have volunteered with the program from its inception.
And since its beginning, Padres Comprometidos has relied on the support of major funders including the Joe C. Davis Family Foundation, Scarlett Family Foundation, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, UnidosUS and Metro Nashville Public Schools.