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Saturday, December 01, 2018

These schools are educating parents, as well as students | The Week Magazine

This article originally appeared at PRI's The World.

The benefits of these programs are undeniable, notes Zaidee Stavely, Reporter, Radio Bilingue & KQED News

From left, Nicolasa Ramirez, Maria Paz, Yoradnos Habte and Yola Nola Brevil Cornely attend a class at Fruitvale Elementary School
Photo: Anne Wernikoff/Courtesy PRI's The World

Inside a classroom at Fruitvale Elementary School in Oakland, California, about 20 women are practicing spelling out loud in English.

They're the mothers, aunts, and grandmothers of children at the school. Four mornings each week, the women — immigrants from Central America, Mexico, the Middle East, Asia, and the Caribbean — drop off their children and then head into a classroom of their own to learn English.

Wahbiai Alqaifi, a mother from Yemen, has been in the U.S. for 15 years. She has six children, one of them a fourth grader at Fruitvale. She used to struggle to understand English in her daily life, she says, but the class helped her expand her vocabulary.

"When I go the store, when I go the hospital, I understand a lot," Alqaifi says...

A 2018 study in Social Science Research shows some teachers perceive immigrant, non-white parents as less involved, which can affect how their children do in school. Teachers are more likely to give students lower grades and less likely to recommend them for honors classes.

So when those parents come as a group to meet the principal, ready with questions, it makes an impact.

Source: The Week Magazine