Language barriers and a lack of education have long hindered immigrant parents’ participation in their children’s education. This could start to change with the opening of the Bronx Parent Center, El Diario La Prensa reported. The story was translated from English.
Many parents want to support their children’s educational growth but are hindered by language barriers or a lack of education themselves.
Elizabeth Riera, whose 8-year-old daughter Yailine is in the third grade at P.S. 53, was one of the first parents to register at the Bronx Parent Center, established by the Mercy College School of Education. The program is the first of its kind in the nation, and has a mission to empower parents to help their children with educational workshops, technological resources, and leadership development.
“I want to improve my skills so I can help my children learn. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the workshops at the Bronx Parent Center,” said Riera.
Along with Riera, dozens of parents with children in the Bronx public schools participated in the initial workshops at the Bronx Parent Center, which will offer free services at its headquarters at Mercy College. Maria Cruz, the parent coordinator at P.S. 46, said the university plans to open a branch at her own school in January, and another at P.S. 85.
“We’re going to have workshops, ESL and computer classes, as well as information on how to find jobs and how to continue with school,” said Cruz.
Aramina Vega Ferrer, director of the Bronx Parent Center, explained that education professors will volunteer their time. “We’re going to provide workshops on how parents can help their children in school, and leadership workshops so that parents know their children’s rights and their own.”
The Bronx Parent Center has a Technology Center with a brand new computer lab, built with $225,000 in funding from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Diaz said that as a father of two students, “I understand the importance of parents’ role in their children’s academic performance.”
Upcoming workshops include “How to teach your child to communicate” and “Preparing your child for the state English language exam at home.”
It costs nothing to register for courses at the Bronx Parent Center. The only requirement is to have a child in a public school in either the Bronx or Westchester. For more information, call 718-678-8895, or write to email@example.com.