As a result of Edu-Futuro’s strong ties to the Latino community, the organization, in partnership with Arlington Public Schools, incorporated PESA to address the challenges that prevent Latino parents from fully participating in their children’s education. PESA is based on the belief that Latino parents place a high value on their children’s education, but struggle accessing resources to fully support their children’s education due to language and cultural barriers. Since 2004, more than 1,000 Latino parents have emerged from Edu-Futuro’s PESA Program as advocates for their children’s education.
PESA is designed to help parents of Latino children develop partnerships with local schools that focus on student achievement. Parents undergo a six-session behavior change program that presents innovative ideas and techniques to help parents guide their children through school.
Parents learn to:
• Strengthen their relationship with their children through interactive activities;
• Spend quality time with their children;
• Be physically close, show warmth, courtesy, and caring for their children;
• Recognize, respect, and acknowledge their children’s feelings and opinions;
• Listen to and show personal interest in their children;
• Encourage their children to use higher-level thinking skills to solve problems;
• Recognize potential problems and how to deal with them.
Edu-Futuro’s research findings demonstrate that parents thrive in PESA’s bilingual, intimate setting with 99 percent of parents rating PESA as an excellent program.
Parents share that PESA:
• Helps improve inner-family relationships and helps parents reinforce positive behaviors at home;
• Allows parents to see their children as individuals with unique characteristics that should be respected;
• Empowers parents to be involved in their children’s education; parents report gaining the confidence to regularly communicate with their children’s educators and actively participate in school activities.
A parent remarked, “[PESA] has helped me realize that there are things that I do not do correctly with my children, which I can modify for their benefit.” Another parent revealed, “Now I am looking for ways to volunteer at school to see how my child is educated and in this way I support him and help his teacher.”
PESA is led by Edu-Futuro’s award winning Parent Coordinator, Elizabeth Clavel, a parent herself who was one of the initial participants of PESA in Arlington.
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