November 19, 2015

Reflecting on APANO's parent organizing work

by Jeanice Chieng
Education Justice Manager

We know that our API immigrant parents care deeply about their child’s education. Often times they are already doing parent engagement at home in their own ways that go unrecognized. For example, many of our parents teach their children about family and cultural traditions, or about their language and history. All of those things are extremely important to preserving culture and identity. However, as immigrants, many parents can have difficulty navigating the school system and advocating for their child. This is where APANO’s parent program comes in…….

APANO’s parent program just wrapped up two successful parent forums with the Chinese and Vietnamese communities. We hosted these forums along with PPS’s Dual Language Immersion Department. The intent was to provide a safe space where parents could share. We wanted to hear from them about their experiences in their child’s school, and to ultimately, support parents so that they could support their child to succeed. We addressed parent engagement at school, parent rights, power and privilege, and the astounding benefits of the Dual Language programs.

APANO also continues to support Marshallese parents in Salem. We recently met last Saturday and continue to meet monthly. Marshallese kids are the third largest population in the ELL system.

If there was one thing that I noticed in all of the parent meetings, it’s that parents are actively listening and passionately sharing. This is just the beginning. APANO aims to create more of these safe spaces for our immigrant parents and support our mission of building power for API communities in Oregon.