PHOENIX – Parents take action and equip themselves with information and confidence to help their children succeed in the classroom.
All of this is part of a program that aims to educate families, but above all to enable them to find their way around the public school system.
ABC15 first told you about the Parent Educator Academy in September 2020. Fast forward to today and Liz Gonzales is a proud graduate of the 10 week online course.
Gonzales works in professional development for teachers but says being on the parents’ side with a son in kindergarten was a whole new experience.
“I want to be the best supportive mom I can be, especially given the fact that everything in the world is happening right now,” said Gonzales. “I was so inspired by all of the information they gave us and all of the resources that I wanted to share it with my entire community.”
Gonzales recently founded a parent-teacher association at her son’s school and plans to take up a position as superintendent.
For Stephanie Parra, Executive Director of All in Education, this is an ideal result.
“All they may know is that their child has a teacher and a headmaster,” Parra said. “The more people are committed to knowing how the education system works, the more advocates we have to do better.”
The program is intentionally targeted at low-income families and colored communities in Maricopa, Yuma, Pima, and Pinal counties. It has grown from five school districts and 27 parenting graduates in the spring of 2021 to 10 school districts and 91 parenting graduates in December, when 400 people applied for 100 available places.
The Arizona Department of Education recently invested $ 1 million in COVID-19 supplies in the program to meet skyrocketing demand.
“PEA really taught us you know ‘Si Se Puede’. As parents, as a community, as an organization, we can do this together, and together we are stronger, ”said Gonzales.
The next parenting academy is due in March. The academy’s website provides further information and an application form.