Posts By Natalie Vesga

Over the last couple months, I have had the honor of attending several Abriendo Puertas graduation ceremonies. They have taken place in auditoriums and gymnasiums, classrooms and ballrooms. The smells that surround me when I arrive at the graduations come from the delicious homemade meals parent-participants have prepared for the special event – from enchiladas to posole. The walls are decorated with banners that read, “Felicitaciones a los graduados de Abriendo Puertas! Congratulations to the Abriendo Puertas graduates!” Balloons and flowers made from origami paper are strategically placed around the room to create a festive atmosphere.

At each ceremony, I have been greeted with open arms... Continue Reading

When the Latino Policy Forum brought Abriendo Puertas (“Opening Doors”)an evidence-based, train-the-trainer parent leadership program from California—to Chicago in 2010, we had a modest-but-important goal of empowering 200 local Latino parents with skills to become advocates and agents of change in the lives of their young children. Cognitive foundations are laid early, and Abriendo Puertas would encourage local parents to embrace cultural assets to become their children’s first teachers, thus boosting academic outcomes for Latino students later in life.

Fast-forward three years, and Abriendo Puertas has taken off in Chicago. The Latino Policy Forum has shared the program with 27 local organizations who have, in turn, taught 1,000 Metro Chicago parents how to “open doors” for their children.... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Parent Engagement
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