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Help for Hispanic Parents


Q. The language barrier must be very difficult for Spanish-speaking parents who immigrate to this country and want to enroll their children in our schools. How can we make schools a less intimidating place, and serve their needs, so that they can support their children's learning better?


A creative and effective way is to set up a Community Learning Center within the school, dedicated to helping the parents gain job skills and life skills while interacting on a daily basis with school staff members and other parents, making them feel more a part of their community.


It's paying off, as the CCA Alliance, founded in Houston in 2002, now has helped establish over 100 centers in schools with larger Hispanic populations.


The centers are places of computer learning in Spanish and English for parents to come and get job skills. The life skills component helps them see how to be more involved with their children's educations. Results: more school volunteering by Hispanic parents, better homework monitoring, better behavior for their children in school, and a win-win situation for Hispanic parents and school staffers.


Homework: See the website,


By Susan Darst Williams Parental Involvement 35 2008


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