• Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed. • IDRA Newsletter • February 2018 •

Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.As the 20th Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute™ approaches on April 6, 2018, we re-visit materials from one of the many concurrent sessions from the April 2017 event. This month, we are highlighting the session on IDRA’s Education CAFE work in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, useful for training and technical assistance to school districts. These are tools to strengthen family engagement in public schools.

IDRA’s work in the lower Rio Grande Valley of south Texas goes back many years. The IDRA Family Leadership in Education approach, now called Education CAFE, has become the model for a network of community organizations under the banner of Equal Voice Network. The presentation at the parent institute last year was facilitated by Michael Seifert, project weaver, with two presenters, Vicky Santana and Eva Carranza, live-streamed from the ARISE Support Center in Alamo, Texas.

The ARISE groups, Padres Activos, take on family leadership in education projects focusing on the schools where their children attend. One key project has been to inform families about the courses students must take to be on a college track. Families communicate with schools about these issues and continually survey families to ensure that their children are prepared for college, an individual and collective vision and expectation. The materials in the new toolkit include examples from the lower Rio Grande Valley, video discussion, stories of successes by the Education CAFE groups in south Texas and the steps to form a similar local organization. (The training materials are available free online.)

The 20th Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute will be held on Friday, April 6, at the Whitley Center in San Antonio, the same site where it has been for the last four years. It will be bilingual (English-Spanish), with some sessions live-streamed, and offer an array of concurrent presentations of interest to families, with many of the presentations led by parents. Family leadership in education is the connecting thread and overarching theme of the event.

box about Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute

Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., is an IDRA senior education associate. Comments and questions may be directed to him via email at aurelio.montemayor@idra.org.

[©2018, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the February 2018 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]