ELPASO sees a future where Latino families form a community movement where their children have the same opportunities of success as Anglo children.
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. By working at a grasssroots level through our programs, we create a network of parent leaders who spread their learned experiences, skills, and knowledge with the rest of the community.
ELPASO has three programs: (see below for more information on each program) EXITO, which means “success” in Spanish, offers training classes and resources to promote early childhood literacy and to teach parents how to be their children’s first teacher. VOZ, which means “voice” in Spanish, is a leadership program in which parent-leaders in their communities organize to advocate for change for the betterment of their neighborhoods and their children’s outcomes at the school-district level. TUTORING is a brand new relationship-based tutoring program started this year due to the pandemic.
" 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
Our Goal: Give parents the knowledge, skills and materials to support their children before they enter kindergarten and to have parents share this knowledge with their community.
How it Works: ELPASO Coordinators conduct 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 community of parents with the goal of community organizing and using their leadership skills for the betterment of Boulder County. This program focuses on leadership within the community, parent advocacy, and familial wellbeing.
How it works: ELPASO Community Organizers visit and converse with parents about their concerns in their communities.
Parent leaders attend virtual and small group meetings (following COVID-19 guidelines) 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.
VOZ's Current Projects
Partnering with the Chef Ann Foundation to improve the nutritional value of school lunches which are eaten predominantly by Latinx students.
Bring scratch cooking to St. Vrain schools.
Advocating for special education evaluations to be conducted in the student's native language.
IEPs to be available in parents' native languages.
Educating parents on their rights and options for children in special education.
Working with BVSD to implement an anti-bullying program that is conducted in a fair, anti-discriminatory manner.
Educating parents on school procedures around suspension and expulsion.
Our Goal: To mitigate academic losses caused by online learning.
How it Works: Children of parent leaders in ELPASO are matched with trained volunteers from the community to receive relationship-based, one-on-one tutoring, following the theory that children who feel seen and accepted by adults are better able to succeed in school.
We were able to match about forty children ages 5 to 18 with volunteers from Boulder Cornerstone Church, Human Kind from the UC-Boulder School of Law, and Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
"My student has shown such a tremendous amount of growth in the short time I've known her, that I can't believe its only been 7 months." ELPASO Tutor