‘Abriendo Puertas’ Trains Latino Parents to be Child’s First Teacher

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessHaving trained more than 500 local Latino parents since 2010, the Metro Chicago Abriendo Puertas (“Opening Doors”) parent leadership and advocacy program, a national curriculum being offered locally through the Latino Policy Forum, announces its goal to train a total of 1,000 local parents by the end of its third year. With a train-the-trainer workshop to be held in Chicago from November 26-28, this third cohort marks the first time that Abriendo Puertas will be offered with locally-trained facilitators. The program aims to mitigate stubborn Latino education achievement gaps by empowering children’s first teachers—their parents—to build a strong academic foundations in their homes.

First implemented in Metro Chicago in 2010, Abriendo Puertas’ successes in the region include:

Improved confidence in fostering early language development: Before the program, 22 percent of parents lacked confidence in their ability to help their child learn language. After the program, almost all (83 percent) felt self-assured in their role of stimulating language learning.

Confidence in educating children before formal schooling: At the program’s end, almost all of participants (98.5 percent) felt confident teaching their children basic skills for kindergarten, such as counting, and learning colors or letters.

The following organizations—both new and veterans to the program—will implement Abriendo Puertas at their program sites this year: Berwyn School District, Carole Robertson Center for Learning, Casa Central, Casa Tepochcalli, Catholic Charities, Centro Romero, Chicago School District 21, Childserv , Family Focus DuPage, Family Focus Elgin, Fellowship Connection, Gads Hill Center, HACES (Hispanic Americans Community Education and Services), La Voz, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Mount Sinai Hospital, National Museum of Mexican Art, Richard Yates Elementary School, Through a Child’s Eyes, and the YWCA.

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