Families as Partners
This fall, we celebrate each and every one of our incredible school principals, parent support specialists, staff, school partners, and families who contribute to Families as Partners (FAP) and our mission of building collaborative and meaningful family and school partnerships. After a year like no other, we celebrate seeing our community continue to provide a critical network of support for families both in person and virtually. It has been exciting and gratifying to see students back in the classrooms and parents returning to their campuses. However, it is equally wonderful that we have created a virtual support system that forged new parent-school connections and expanded our outreach.
With the support of generous organizations, Families as Partners continues to expand and build our programming. We remain focused on our three core areas supporting and offering learning opportunities for our families in Parent Education/Development of Parent Champions, Early Learning, and Parent and Child Engagement.
This fall, we welcome 65 Parent Leaders across the 21 participating schools. Furthermore, FAP hosted a Parent Development and Connection Camp, offered Conscious Discipline training in Spanish for families, parent workshops to support early literacy, and launched the AISD Parent Child+ Home Visiting Program.
A special thank you to the Parent Support Specialist for embracing Families as Partners and for their service to all families. Our work is possible because of the ongoing collaboration and commitment of the Parent Support Specialists who lead and support parents at their campuses.
Families as Partners is beyond proud of the parents who have stepped up to be Parent Champions this school year! Parent champions participate in monthly learning opportunities to develop their capacities and learn skills to implement with their children as well as help develop other parents in a train the trainer model. The 65 Parent Champions today are working closely with their schools to help their community and fellow parents in technology, literacy, English as a Second Language, and Social-Emotional Learning.
This year in response to the need for outdoor learning spaces, Families as Partners has launched the Outdoor Learning Parent Champion role. This role was designed to support outdoor learning activities, promote environmental awareness, and motivate the school community to use the outdoor spaces and resources available in our city and in our schools. This role is possible with the support of an Innovation grant from Austin EdFund and close collaboration with West Cave Outdoor Discovery Center.
Furthermore, with the support of United Way, Families as Parnters has added a Parent Champion Mentor role who serves as a leader and mentor to an assigned cohort of Parent Champions. These parents have a minimum of 2 years of experience as a Parent Champion and work with their cohort in strategic planning for their schools, training, documentation, communication modeling, as well as serving as the liaison between Parent Champions and the FAP Project Lead.
Families as Partners will continue cultivating trusting relationships with Parent Support Specialists, Parent Champions, and families. Spaces are created during the monthly Parent Champion meetings for parents to enhance their capabilities (skills and knowledge), connections (networks and relationships), cognitions (beliefs and values), and confidence (self-efficacy) (Mapp & Kuttner, 2013). In addition, monthly learning opportunities offered to Parent Champions will help parents increase their self-efficacy in the areas they have reported feeling less confident.
Meet the 2021-2022 Parent Champion Mentors!
AISD Home Visiting Program
Families as Partners and the AISD Early Learning Department are excited to launch AISD ParentChild+ Home Visiting Program this fall. The program started virtually in October, and we are currently serving families with two year old children.
We are proud to partner with the national program ParentChild+ to provide our youngest learners with equal opportunities right from the start. The AISD Home Visiting Program promotes and supports early literacy and fosters positive parent-child interactions.
We recognize that parents are their child's first and most important teacher. The Early Learning Specialist Home Visitors visit families virtually and provide parents creative and fun ways to play and learn with their children to increase the parent's knowledge and their children's school readiness. Through these interactions, our goal is to establish and cultivate long lasting trusting relationships with families in our communities.
Families as Partners thrives not because of the work of a few people but through the collaborative effort of many campus parents and staff and community partners. We are happy to officially announce our Collaborations with United Way for Greater Austin Reading Coalition (GARC)
United Way for Greater Austin will be providing resources and support to the Families as Partners program through the Greater Austin Reading Coalition [GARC]. Currently, four Parent Champions are members of the Greater Austin Reading Coalition’s Parent Advisory Council. Parents help provide input on this collaborative effort to serve the Greater Austin community and AISD schools.
Families as Partners looks forward to working with the GARC to provide training and create impact around the GARC four strategic goals. GARC aims to have all children in the Greater Austin area reading on grade level by the time they enter the 4th grade and partners with 60+ Greater Austin businesses and community-based organizations.
What's on the Horizon?
- Nov 30 - Enhancing digital skills Training (8:30-10:30 am)
- Dec 06- ePromotora class starts at Padron Elem
- Dec 14 - PC Meeting / Winter Gathering (Time TBD)
- Dec 20 - Jan 3 – Student Winter Break
For your Information:
Parents who completed an interest form for computer classes or the Home Visiting Program and could not join the class or program will be contacted as soon as a spot becomes available. We appreciate your interest and look forward to connecting with you soon!