Padres Comprometidos con CHISPA Goes to Texas: A Reflection

By Eric DeJesus, Assistant Program Director at Cypress Hills


I left the Padres Comprometidos (PC) con CHISPA training in San Antonio feeling reenergized.

I had the opportunity to meet dedicated and highly motivated educators from NCLR’s Affiliate Network. As an Assistant Program Director at Cypress Hills Afterschool Learning Center, and a resident of the community I serve in Brooklyn, I greatly understand the value parent involvement can have in a school’s development.

Brooklyn’s Cypress Hills Community School was founded by local parents and the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation in 1997, with support from New Visions for Public Schools. Cypress Hills is a public school based on an innovative dual-language (English and Spanish) model with strong parent leadership. The school currently has 430 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, which is why the work of PC con CHISPA is so relevant to our school.


PC con CHISPA has constructed a bridge between students, parents, schools, and museums that did not exist for many communities. For me, attending the PC con CHISPA training gave me the opportunity to strengthen and expand upon this bridge in my community back in Brooklyn.

The PC con CHISPA training also gave me the opportunity to interact with professionals from around the nation who are in the same field of work I am, and who have the passion to work tirelessly to lift up communities around the country. I also gained insight into how other community-based organizations operate. I learned different practices to better serve Latino communities in Texas, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, California, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Washington, DC (where all the PC con CHISPA educators were also from). Not many organizations are attempting to advance each scholar’s exposure to educational material by directly connecting that with parent engagement.


I feel proud to be part of a program that offers the same curriculum and activities to not just educators, but to parents as well. The NCLR STEM team has some true pioneers in the work of parent engagement, and I am honored to be a part of this movement that fills me with excitement and a sense of accomplishment.

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