Parents and Youth Skill Building Conference


Together, we can accomplish this school year with success!

The Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality has been working with Roberts High School with the High School Graduation Initiative grant. The coalition uses the strategy of preparing parents and youth together in order to reach their goals and succeed in school. Fathers and Mothers are the most important people in the world to encourage and support their teenage children as they prepare for higher education and their future life.

This summer program ended in September with the Skill Building Conference for Parents and Youth, held at McKay High School. Forty parents and twenty youth attended on Saturday the 27th. They were able to choose from two workshops—The Importance of Knowing our Culture” or “How to Influence our Children Positively.”

The guest speaker, Rick Puente, is a Juvenile Detective in the Woodburn Police Department. Rick was born in Oregon, attended school in Salem-Keizer, and graduated from McNary High School. He attended Chemeketa Community College and studied business and criminal justice. His focus has been in prevention and intervention of drugs, gangs and other problems that our youth face today. He talked to parents about the things they can do and strategies they can use to motivate their sons and daughters to improve their behavior and have success in school. The conference offered informational workshops and resources.

Detective Puente talked about his father, who has been blind his whole life, and who has taught him strong values and demanded respect. The most important value he learned from his father is honesty, and he wants parents to teach and expect these values from their children.


Educa e Inspira (Educate & Inspire) 2014


What does the Parent Organizing Project do?

• Engages low-income immigrant Latino parents in learning about their children’s education, their school system, and how to help their children succeed academically.
• Provides a16-unit “Educate and Inspire” curriculum, which is grounded in Popular Education philosophies and strategies.
• Supports interested parents to grow as leaders and advocates.

How does it Work? Who is Involved?

• The “Educate and Inspire” workshops are taught by parents who are trained facilitators from the Spanish-speaking immigrant community.
• Parents learn the skills they need to engage with their children at home and at their schools to ensure their children stay positively involved in education, graduate from high school, and obtain higher education and/or job and career skills.
• Parent facilitators receive ongoing professional development in facilitation, communication, Popular Education, and peer mentoring.
• Schools and districts contract and partner with the Coalition, and workshops are held at local schools.
• Recruitment is focused on relationship-building and customized outreach by other bilingual, bicultural parents in addition to school staff.

How does it Grow Leaders and Advocates?

Parents are encouraged to volunteer and take leadership positions in the schools and community. When an opportunity for civic engagement arises, parents are invited to participate; and are trained to be effective.

Through the POP, a previously disempowered parent may grow into a community and school leader, organizer, educator, and an agent of lasting change

What is the Goal?

To engage and equip Spanish-speaking parents to play a powerful role at home, at school, and in the community.

A high level of parent engagement at school and at home will help close the achievement gap between low-income students who are learning English and their native English-speaking, middle-class peers.

Educa e Inspira by the Numbers


Parents learning tools to advocate for their children

January 2014 has been a busy month for our parent facilitators of our Educa e Inspira (Educate & Inspire) Program, part of our “College Begins at Home” Initiative. They facilitated 14 different workshops in various schools in the Salem/Keizer School District. An average of 15 to 20 parents attended each workshop.

Each workshop talks about various issues facing their children in education, and helps parents find ways to help their children succeed in school. Some of the topics of recent workshops are: Effectively Communicating with Schools, New Oregon Report Cards, State Test & Understanding your Child’s Learning Progress, Raising Achievement by Teaching & Supporting your Children at Home.

Here are some comments from some parents:

“I like coming to these workshops because I learned how I can help my child at home” -Maria Ramirez, mother of 3

“I want my children to succeed in school, and I want to learn what I need to do as a parent to make sure that happens” -Lorena Rodriguez, mother of 2

“Sometimes as parents we don’t know who to help our children due to the language barrier but in these workshops I’m able to communicate my concerns in my own language and learn to help them better” -Teresa Gonzalez, mother of 3

“College Begins at Home” – Regional Parent Conference on October 5th

Regional Latino Parent Conference logoWe’re proud to be hosting the first ever regional conference for parents of  Spanish-speaking English Language Learners in partnership with Chemeketa Community College on Saturday, October 5, 2013. The conference is for ELL parents in Marion, Polk and Yamhill County Schools. This event is FREE. 

Spanish-speaking parents, especially those whose children are struggling academically, need extra support to become meaningfully involved in the educational process. To make it all happen, we all need to hold each other accountable: students, parents, teachers and community. This free conference will offer skills and support for Oregon parents who want to help their children become college-ready.

Workshops will include:

  • Communicating with schools
  • How to track your child’s progress
  • Understanding the challenges facing Latino children at school

Separate sessions will focus on parents of children in different school settings: Pre-K to 3rd grade, 4th through 7th grade, and 8th through high school. Meals will be provided to registered participants.

Why “College Begins at Home” for this conference?

Governor Kitzhaber’s 40-40-20 vision plan states that by 2025, 40% of Oregonians will have a Bachelor’s degree and 40% will have an Associate’s degree – and that all Oregon students will graduate from high school.

We’re aligning our parent involvement programs with the new Oregon English Learners Strategic Plan designed by David Bautista, ODE’s Title III Director, and a group of talented educators. The plan has been adopted by Governor Kitzhaber and the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB).

With this conference, we’re launching a three-year initiative to close the academic and opportunity gaps facing students from Spanish-speaking families and ensure these families are included in the Governor’s 40-40-20 vision. We are working to help build a better Oregon for ALL.

Sponsorships Available

Do you want to support Spanish-speaking families with school aged children? Or let them know what your organization or business has to offer?

Become a conference sponsor — check out the sponsors packet here or get in touch with Annalivia Palazzo by September 15, 2013 at

Conference Co-Sponsor


Educate and Inspire: 2012-13 Curriculum Overview

“Educate and Inspire: The Oregon Statewide Parent Leadership Training Series” was developed with the input of hundreds of Latino immigrant and migrant parents and is still growing: our team of master teachers and parent facilitators has developed and will continue to develop new workshops in response to requests from parents. The series is by and for parents, the true leaders of this project.

All workshops are designed to provide participants, typically low-income Spanish-speaking immigrants, with knowledge, skills, and tools that they can use to help their children succeed academically. This curriculum is aligned with Oregon Governor’s 40-40-20 Education Vision.

Download (PDF, 32KB)

January 2012 Convivio Brings Together Parents for a Day of Strength

The January 2012 Convivio focused on fostering advocacy at every level – from individuals to statewide. Groups had the opportunity to work together to identify strengths and plan. There was also ample time for networking, sharing, and brainstorming together.

48 participants from 12 communities, including: Salem, Medford, Phoenix/Talent, Eagle Point, Gresham, Newberg, Albany, Corvallis, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Cornelius, and Forest Grove. We individualized the training for parents in Portland Public Schools; they were unable to attend because of the inclement weather. The goals for the Convivio were to:

Learn about advocacy at different levels; individual to statewide.
Present the revised professional development and ongoing technical support plan.
Participate, share ideas, and enjoy ourselves together.

TOT Partners: UNETE and Una Voz in Jackson County; Casa Latinos Unidos in Corvallis; Portland Public Schools; Eugene School District; Education NW; Oregon Migrant Education Services Center; Centro Cultural of Washington County

To learn more, contact Aurora Cedillo
Training of Trainers Coordinator