In Tacoma this spring, a group of determined Latino parents took a course with Stand for Children. Thanks to Tacoma Public Schools and the Principals at Blix and Sheridan Elementary, the parents were able to participate in the Associates Program for Stand University for Parents, a four-week, evening course on helping your child succeed in school through direct engagement with their education. The course was offered in Spanish, which helped bridge a language barrier for many of the parents; who were excited to get the opportunity to improve their children’s future.
Sara Irish, Tacoma community organizer says, “These families don’t get a lot of help in their native language; and we want to feel that they can support their children in school like other parents do, so we offered classes and a summer program in Spanish and English so that they feel more comfortable.”
"I am Standing Strong because: My son will be successful."
To keep the momentum going for these families and others, Stand for Children offered a learning program we called Summer Superstars, with free activities that parents and their children could attend to remind them of the opportunity to learn every day.
At the kickoff event in June at Moore Library, parents got a daily calendar of simple activities they could do at home to help their children retain learning over the summer. Children played games, had story time, and got their pictures taken with Tacoma Rainers’ mascot, Rhubarb the Reindeer, as well as CharroHawk, a Mariachi Seahawk; while parents learned more about the summer slide.
In July, Stand hosted a nature walk and picnic. During the picnic, children were read a book on nature and engaged in what they saw and learned on the walk.
And in August, Children’s Book Author, Jody Dammann-Matthews, read from her book “Grandma’s Garden.” Afterwards, children and their parents planted seeds in little clay pots they took home to care for themselves.
All participants were entered into a raffle for free Tacoma Rainier’s tickets, with four tickets given per family. At the game, three families, staff and volunteers wore Stand for Children hats and t-shirts and cheered for the Tacoma Rainiers…and for their success in maximizing their summer learning.