" I now see myself as a mentor and guide for other women in my community in providing advice for how to parent their children.” - ELPASO Parent Leader
WHY ELPASO WAS FORMED
We created ELPASO to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood education while at the same time emphasizing the value of Latino parent leadership in the community. Through parent focus groups in Boulder, Lafayette, and Longmont, we grasped two important concepts. First, we realized that parents are on the front line, holding the key to ensuring their children are ready for kindergarten and beyond. Second, we saw that parents were perhaps the only stakeholders who could make sure community leaders funded relevant interventions.
By working at a grasssroots level through our two programs, ÉXITO and VOZ, we create a network of parent leaders who spread their learned experiences, skills, and knowledge with the rest of the community.
ELPASO sees a future where Latino families form a community movement where their children have the same opportunities of success as Anglo children.
Our Goal: Give parents the knowledge and skills to support their children before they enter kindergarten and to have parents share this knowledge with their community.
How it Works:
ELPASO Coordinators do outreach to Boulder County families, building relationships and getting to know the community.
During these visits, coordinators also recruit parents with leadership potential to attend the ELPASO parent leadership program. Interested parents attend 11 monthly training sessions, where they acquire knowledge and skills about child development and learning across age groups.
Parents hold small home meetings called "cafecitos" to share their new knowledge with others and support them in preparing their children for kindergarten.
More than 40 leaders are participating with a goal that each parent host six cafecitos. These cafecitos have the potential to transform student outcomes by creating hundreds of additional engaged Latino parents of 0-5 year olds in Boulder County.
Our Goal: ELPASO VOZ is a group of parents with the goal of community organizing and using their leadership skills for the betterment of Boulder, Longmont, and Lafayette. This program focuses on leadership within the community and familial wellbeing.
How it works:
An ELPASO Community Organizer visits and engages in listening to conversations with parents about their concerns in their communities.
Parent leaders attend parent meetings and leadership training, providing and receiving mutual support.
Parents select a topic of particular urgency centered around the social determinants of health and mobilize to create social change.