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Volume 20, Number 1
January/February 2004

Bringing Parents on Board

Strong home-school connections enrich learning opportunities for immigrant kids—and their parents, too


There is a Spanish saying that has slowly been gaining currency with the educators of English-language learners (ELLs): "Lo que se aprende en la cuna, siempre dure." That which is learned in the crib lasts forever. Few programs embrace that concept more strongly than AVANCE, a nonprofit organization founded in San Antonio, Texas, in 1973 to prepare poor and primarily Latino kids for academic success by focusing on their earliest and most influential teachers-parents.

Many researchers have noted the importance of parental involvement in the education of all students, not just immigrants. But given that immigrant parents often do not speak English and may not be familiar with the standards and customs of U.S. schools, getting them involved in their kids' education presents special challenges for teachers and administrators.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


For Further Information

For Further Information

AVANCE, Inc., 301 S. Frio St., Suite 380, San Antonio, TX 78207; tel: 210-270-4630; fax: 210-270-4612.

L.M. Espinosa. "Hispanic Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Programs." ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Urbana: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995.

L.M. Espinosa and M.S. Burns. "Early Literacy for Young Children and English Language Learners," in C. Howes, ed., Teaching 4- to 8-Year-Olds: Literacy, Math, Multiculturalism and Classroom Community. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes, 2003.

M. Suárez-Orozco and C. Suárez-Orozco. Children of Immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

P.O. Tabors. One Child, Two Languages: A Guide for Preschool Educators of Children Learning English as a Second Language. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing, 1997.

P.O. Tabors, M.M. Paez, and L.M. Lopez. "Dual Language Abilities of Bilingual Four-Year Olds: Initial Findings from the Early Childhood Study of Language and Literacy Development of Spanish-Speaking Children." NABE Journal of Research and Practice (Winter 2003).