Six years ago, we brought together the Vita Health and Wellness District, Stamford Hospital, and more than 20 collaborative partners to do what would be impossible for one institution to do alone: Empower low-income, first-generation immigrant parents help their children succeed, beginning in pre-Kindergarten. Together, we’re providing specialized services to foster more parental involvement, which is so critical for preparing our preschoolers for success. And not just in their first year, but throughout their educational careers.
Each year, in collaboration with the Children’s Learning Center of Fairfield County, we open the doors for twenty eager three- and four-year olds to start high-quality preschool. Equally important, we coach their parents on the many ways they can play a role in their children’s success. We also provide additional wrap around services, like parenting classes and English lessons to help the parents succeed.
Our efforts are paying off. When our first group of preschoolers started, they tested about 25% behind children representing the general population. But within two years, not only had they closed that achievement gap, they were scoring “above benchmark”—when 33% of the comparison group of children was scoring “well below.” We measure the students’ progress every six months and will continue to measure it through high school.
Parents as Co-Educators empowers low-income, immigrant parents to be partners in their children’s education. In collaboration with more than 20 partners we’re working to:
Provide access to high-quality preschool for first-generation immigrant children.
Support and empower parents to reinforce pre-K learning in their homes.
Encourage parental involvement with the preschool program, both in the classroom and on parent advisory committees.
Support immigrant families through coordinated access to wrap-around services.
Help immigrant parents learn English and literacy so they can better help their children with school.
Measure the children’s progress throughout their elementary years and through high school.