Banyan offered a seven-week class in partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension Family Development Center. The class was presented in Spanish by Dr. Silvia Alvarez. Fifteen parents, and one grandparent, were empowered with tools to support their children. Through their participation, parents acquired valuable insight into assisting the younger generation with navigating the educational system. This class aimed to support parents in promoting academic success.

“I know it’s important to be a good parent, but this class helped me learn to be a better parent.” stated an attending parent.

Parents reported that they gained more knowledge about various topics, such as:

  • Striving to be better communicators with their kids, especially when it comes to providing clear direction and setting expectations.
  • The importance of staying engaged with school. For example, the instructor encouraged parents to bring written questions to parent teacher conferences. They also discussed when it would be the most appropriate point to contact a teacher if one notices a significant change in their child’s grades.
  • The immense value of reading both as an individual and as a family. Since this class was aimed at Spanish-speaking families, it was suggested that they should focus on reading in both Spanish and English. This is something that can be highly beneficial for the whole family.

Dr. Alvarez sought to create a brighter future for children by helping their parents to more clearly envision it. Often parents focus on wanting their youth to be “happy” but miss exploring what things help to make their child happy. What occupation will give them joy? Another parent stated, “my dream is that my child goes to college, will pick a career she will enjoy, and completes school. This class helped me work towards making that dream come true.”

Banyan believes that when youth, family, and community are synchronized the greatest progress is made on education and poverty. Offering this class strengthens families and equips them with resources. Congratulations to our 11 parent graduates who completed the entire curriculum!