By Eddi Ortiz, Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator, Para Los Niños Charter Schools, NCLR Affiliate
After traveling to San Antonio for the Padres Comprometidos (PC) con CHISPA training, I walked into the venue and discovered a room full of educators much like myself. Most of us were meeting each other for the first time, but all of us were at the training for the same purpose: to learn from each other and discuss how to best engage parents and families in STEM through the PC con CHISPA program. Now in our third year, PC con CHISPA introduces Latino parents around the country to the STEM concepts their children are learning at school. As a parent facilitator at the training, I had an opportunity to network, share ideas, and work in groups to improve my skills.
I discovered at the training that other parent facilitators face similar challenges in engaging parents. Para Los Niños Charter Schools, located in Los Angeles, works with our city’s most at-risk children, and provides a comprehensive approach to education. We not only focus on academic achievement, but also work to meet each student’s emotional, social, and psychological needs. The PC con CHISPA training allowed me to share best practices and ideas that are working for us at my school.
Visiting another community has empowered me. I am grateful to NCLR STEM for the opportunity, as well as the PC con CHISPA training. I met and worked with a committed group of people who shared the same passion for informing, educating, and engaging parents in their children’s education. While we only worked together for a couple of days, the connections we made are invaluable, and strengthen our overall commitment to improve the lives of the children and families in the communities where we work.
After the training, I walked away with a sense of continued partnership, commitment, and faith that we will continue this work long after the grant ends. I am honored and thankful for having had the opportunity to share a couple of days with the incredible community leaders of the PC con CHISPA program.
For more information about CHISPA, please contact Juliana Ospina Cano at [email protected].