Who we are:
The Parent Partners Program is designed to increase the capacity of parents in San Francisco to support their children’s current academic success and future life goals, including a college education.
By employing a parent-to-parent peer education model for all of our workshops, we are able to develop new parent leaders and share information with parents in a linguistically, culturally and socioeconomically relevant way. We also help parents find spaces to constructively and meaningfully have their voices heard at individual school sites, within the District and in the wider community.
Our primary focus is working with low-income, Latino immigrant families who have historically been predominantly under-represented in school-based parent engagement activities and whose children have, on average a higher need for academic support and college access.
In total, we will conduct over 300 workshops over the course of the 2013-14 school year, in which nearly 600 parents will participate, spreading the message about the importance of college and becoming stronger partners in their children’s educational success.
By partnering with schools, district staff and community-based organizations, Mission Graduates’ Parent Partner Program supports parents in the following ways:
- Develop a College Going Culture:
To increase the chances of low-income and Latino students going to college, especially if they would be the first in their family to do so, we know that it is important to start developing a culture of going to college very early on, both at home and at school. That is why we start supporting parents with children as young as Kindergartners.
- Increasing their capacity to provide academic support to their children:
Often parents feel at a loss for when it comes to support a child struggling academically. This is especially true when language and cultural barriers make it more difficult to establish a productive relationship with their children’s teacher. Through our parent workshops, we help parents realize the strengths and knowledge they already possess and provide them with resources to better support their children academically.
- Improve the climate for parent engagement at their school:
Academic studies have consistently shown that parent involvement at their children’s school is a key component in bridging the achievement gap for minority youth. We not only provide parents with the basic information they need to begin to take advantage of the existing parent engagement opportunities at their school, but in select schools, we also provide ongoing technical assistance to parent leaders at these schools so that they can make ongoing improvements to these opportunities.
- Improving services for English Language Learners at their school and within the District:
Individual schools that we work with and the District as a whole have made important strides in the services provided for English Language Learners and their families, resulting in some degree of improvement in standardized test scores for ELL’s. Nevertheless, there is much more room for improvement and we work with parent leaders to support their advocacy around this issue, primarily through participation in the English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) at their children’s school.
What we offer to the community:
- Parent to Parent Workshops
Our parent program offers workshops relating to college, sexuality and kindergarten readiness available to all parents as well as schools.
- School-based Programs
Programs are administered at different school sites to communicate and actively motivate parents of students to participate.
- Parent Leadership Team
Parent volunteers actively participate in the schools and lead all activities as well as attending various workshops to sharpen their leadership skills.