Achieving Equity and Excellence in Education

Established in 1992, Hispanic Services Council’s (HSC) mission is to increase access to opportunities for Latinos and influence the systems that serve them. Our work focuses on developing opportunities that result in an educated, healthy, prosperous, and engaged Latino community.   e3f859_e30a2f58fb9ed97ab3cd549d0342e6fa

Understanding the U.S. school system is one of the biggest challenges Latino parents face. For that reason, one of our areas of focus is education, with an emphasis on closing the divide between school and home. We do this through La RED de Padres Activos, or the Network of Active Parents, which engages and educates parents to become more involved in their children’s academic lives, better preparing Latino children for success in school.

La RED targets five areas in Hillsborough County, FL (Drew Park, Palmetto Beach/Palm River, North Tampa, Plant City, and Wimauma). The network partners with community- and faith-based organizations to establish and strengthen relationships with parents, create networks of mutual support, gain new parenting skills, and build their confidence to advocate for their children’s academic success.

HSC partners with NCLR to increase educational opportunities and improve achievement for Latinos by amplifying the voice of Latino parents. HSC has been implementing NCLR’s Padres Comprometidos program since La RED began four years ago.

In September 2015, HSC began to implement another NCLR project, Equity and Excellence, to enhance the work we were already doing to increase parental engagement. Through the Equity and Excellence initiative, we incorporated the topic of academic standards into our curriculum, which is a topic that usually only school staff and administrators deal with. However, NCLR’s initiative allowed us to disseminate this information to our parents in a simple and practical way.

Knowing our communities and the cultural characteristics of each, we modified the session content and length so we could be sure that parents would better understand how academic standards affect their children. Such modifications were necessary to meet each community’s diverse education level, cultural experiences, and language, as some of our families are learning Spanish because they speak an indigenous language or dialect.

Showcasing the 2016 NCLR Innovation Lab

How NCLR STEM Is Creating Innovative Spaces for Latino Youth

By Cindy Zavala, NCLR Education Programs Associate

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The Innovation Lab student groups at the 2016 NCLR Líderes Summit Bienvenida

Last month in Orlando, NCLR STEM held the Innovation Lab Showcase during this year’s NCLR Líderes Summit. The NCLR Innovation Lab is a program that inspires social entrepreneurship by encouraging students to tackle some of the most pressing needs in their communities. Finalists presented their innovation and product they designed to meet a need in their community. The student finalists were from four NCLR Affiliates: Conexión Américas, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Gads Hill Center, and Sociedad Latina.

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It’s Back-to-School Time!

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Tomorrow, Aug. 17, we’re co-hosting a Twitter chat with Insure Kids Now, the Office of Minority Health, and SaludToday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. The chat will focus on how schools can help families in their community get health coverage. Use the hashtag #OurSalud to get in on the conversation or follow along below.