Several community partnerships offer Latino families opportunities to boost their own education and be more involved in their children’s education.
Jose Mercado participated in the Padres Comprometidos (Committed Parents) program held at Martin Luther King Jr. School No. 9 last winter.
The program, which follows a model created by the National Council de la Raza, has been made available to Latinos for the past two years through a collaboration between Ibero-American Action League and the Rochester City School District.
"I learned a lot … about the help offered at schools, where to go if one has a problem, the opportunities offered to students for higher education and how to help them get to college," said Mercado, who recommends the program to other parents.
Latinos have to take advantage of such opportunities to better their families, Mercado said, which include GED tutoring classes offered at Ibero’s Clifford Family Center and School No. 9. The tutoring classes are available through a partnership with the United Christian Community Program.
Most feedback from families has been positive for the Padres Comprometidos workshops, which are offered twice a year, said Maria Encarnación, a bilingual community liaison specialist for the district’s Office of Parent Engagement.
The workshops cover graduation requirements, school funding, child development, financial aid and the college application process, she said. During the upcoming school year, the program will be offered to all district parents, she said.
"These workshops empower the parents to be the best advocates for their children," Encarnación said.