Parent University Spring '18 Courses Kick Off throughout the Region
Top to Bottom: 1.) Parent University graduates in Huron, CA pose with Huron Middle School principal Javier Gonzalez, class instructor Estefania Solis, and Parent University project coordinator Felipe Perez. This particular course ran October through December and focused on computer skills in addition to English language skills. 2.) Parent University participants in a computer skills course on Jan. 29 in Firebaugh, CA. This course has 25 students enrolled and will run through March. 3.) Graduates of a computer skills course in Coalinga, CA, with their instructor Roselia Madera.
OCED’s Parent University kicked off its 2018 session of courses Jan. 22, leading instruction throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Nine-week courses began in Firebaugh, Coalinga, Madera and Riverdale with more than 20 parents enrolled per site. Classes in Huron are scheduled to begin Feb. 12.
Parent University is part of OCED’s San Joaquin Valley Rural Development Center and is designed to build capacity in small communities, by training and hiring local instructors to teach participants various life skills. The program offers courses in digital literacy, English as a second language and parenting skills – and all courses are provided at no cost to participants.
Community members are urged to enroll in the courses, which are funded in part by the affiliated school districts as well as through Title I funding. The goal is to educate parents on how to better communicate with their children and how to understand the technology their very own children utilize. Participants of the computer literacy courses learn basic computer skills, how to properly turn the computer on and off, and how to use email. They also are instructed on how to conduct scholarship searches and how to help their children gain access to higher education.
“The parents are grateful for the opportunity to learn even though they occasionally think they are ‘too old’ and can be apprehensive at first to try to use technology,” said Felipe Perez, the Parent University project coordinator at OCED, who instructs courses in Firebaugh where he is also the town’s mayor. “But they are in some ways ideal students because they crave new knowledge. Parent University helps them to overcome mental barriers, and lays the foundation for them to continue to work with technology, just as their children do.”