Honoring the Families’ Knowledge Base for Family Engagement

Family engagement is very important to the academic, social, and emotional development of children.  However, creating meaningful links between home and school can be complex and difficult to achieve, especially with English Learners (ELs). Teachers and school districts must honor their EL families’ knowledge base for family engagement, if they want to encourage a more meaningful relationship.  By honoring and understanding EL parents’ understanding of family engagement, teachers and school officials are creating a welcoming environment that is conducive to learning and involvement.
 
The goal of honoring EL families’ knowledge base for family engagement helps to improve students’ outcomes and incorporates EL parents’ vision for their children.  Encouraging EL parents to be involved in the planning and education of their children is a significant aspect of family engagement.  This strategy ensures that all people involved in the education of EL students honor and recognize families’ knowledge. It also ensures that families are able to support their children’s education and growth, as well as collaborate with schools and allows them to advocate for change.
 
When teachers and parents work together, it boosts student achievement and helps build positive school culture.  By honoring the families’ knowledge, teachers and school officials are enhancing parental self-efficacy.  This helps to create opportunities for parents to build their skills and deepen their knowledge.  For instance, EL parents typically view parental involvement as giving their children space and time to do their homework, feeding them well, and giving them the material things they need to succeed in school.  These are all great examples of parental involvement, but there are more strategies that can be incorporated. The partnerships formed between the home and school settings give EL parents access to more strategies and tips on how they can help their children with math and reading skills, college applications, and more. 
 
Additionally, these partnerships help with the sharing of ideas and factors that promote academic success, such as school attendance and performance.  The Latino Family Literacy Project offers Professional Development workshops that prepare teachers for working with EL families, as well as reading programs for EL parents and their children. 
 
Teachers participating in the Project’s teacher learning options share nothing but rave reviews, such as this comment by Eloisa Acevedo, Program Teacher, “ Parents were active participants during the session. They were always eager to read and share experiences.” And this comment by Martha Luevano, Program Teacher, “Parents like the program and they said it is a great success that their children have opportunities they did not have in their time.”  For more information regarding the programs offered by the Latino Family Literacy Project, visit their website http://www.latinoliteracy.com.

Honoring the Families’ Knowledge Base for Family Engagement

Honoring the Families’ Knowledge Base for Family Engagement

alex perezHonoring the Families’ Knowledge Base for Family Engagement