Parents are the best advocates to ensure that a child receives a good education. Children with parents who are involved have a much higher success rate at school. Unfortunately, language is a barrier to involvement for many immigrant parents.
Felix, a dedicated mother of three, knew she wanted to be a part of her kids’ education. Inspired by a desire to help her children she enrolled in English Courses at Grace Place, a UWCC partner agency. Felix began attending English Courses once a week after work. She started to meet other families who were trying to improve their language skills and circumstances. She also enrolled herself and her children in the Bright Beginnings Program offered at Grace Place.
Bright Beginnings offers skills, techniques, and best practices for parents to help them provide a solid educational foundation for their children. Classes educate parents on how to facilitate learning and brain development through interaction, social, and pre-literacy skills.
"I learned how to be a better mother and how to listen to my children’s needs.” Says Felix “Anything can be a teaching moment when you are with your kids. A trip to the grocery store is an opportunity to teach them about vegetables, and a trip to the park can become a lesson on nature”.
Children also benefit from the bright beginnings program. While parents are in class, they participate in developmentally appropriate learning activities, guided exploration, art, and storytelling. It has been five years since Felix’s first English lesson. Today she is optimistic about her future and the future for her children.
“I can read their books with them now. I can help with their homework. While my English isn’t perfect, I have come a long way.”
Felix believes in the importance of giving back and tries to share what she has learned with other parents. She has donated her time as a volunteer in the Bright Beginnings program and hopes to continue to improve her English skills. I asked Felix about her goals for her children and she responded
“I want them to have an education, it’s a gift that no-one can take away, and I am going to be proud when they do it. Because I know I worked hard to make that happen.”
To learn more about Grace Place and the services they offer visit: http://www.graceplacenaples.org/