Aprendiendo Avanzamos (Learning Together We Advance) delighted families twice a week for 13 weeks from April to June with the help of generous supporters. Moms, dads and kids had so much fun learning together through developmental activities that they asked for more classes!
SKCE early learning facilitators led children and parents through a variety of experiences twice a week – singing, art projects, learning games, sensory experiences through play, and literacy development. Parents attended parenting classes one day each week and parent-led preschool the other day. Families attended from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM and received a hearty breakfast and snack. Babies and toddlers received developmentally focused childcare.
By the end of the course, 24 parents had been through a 10-week parenting program called Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors) on Thursday mornings, while their children received learning-rich preschool. On Friday mornings, parents learned how to make low cost learning activities at home, and then practiced those activities with their child in this second day of preschool each week. Finally, parents attended three trainings of the “Ready! For Kindergarten” program. Each family received and learned to use a $200 “Ready! For Kindergarten” kit of developmental education materials and activities, generously provided by the Marion Polk Early Learning Hub.
The impact of Aprendiendo Avanzamos can affect generations.
Spanish speaking immigrants from rural areas in Mexico with farm working backgrounds are less likely to have had access to school in their childhood. They tell us of having no books in the home, going to school sporadically as rural teachers sent by the government came and went, and having immediate family needs that often took priority over building the future. The simple act of learning how to provide educational experiences to their children and getting them ready for kindergarten changes the way parents think about the future of their child and family. Parents embrace their role as first teacher, mentor and coach of their children. A domino effect occurs throughout the child’s school career as parents continue to stay involved, learn to advocate for their children, and envision high school graduation, college and/or career accomplishments and improving the family’s income. Thus old cycles of poverty and low literacy are set aside as the new cycle has begun, and is passed down in parenting the next generation.