SWOP’s Parent Mentor Program aims to fill persistent equity gaps by empowering parents to volunteer in classrooms for two hours/day for at least 100 hours at their schools. These parents assist teachers and students by providing extra eyes, ears, and hands in the classroom while giving extra attention to students in need, particularly ELL (English language learners) students—many of whom in grades K-3 are learning literacy in two languages.
With the Beyond the Classroom initiative, Parent Mentors are taking on projects in their schools and communities that they want to improve upon. These campaigns range from parents building a small community garden, building a free to use book library, to events that explore sharing key parts of their cultures with other parents.
The most recent Beyond the Classroom campaign took place at Henry Lee Elementary School where they encouraged students and parents to think about positive social interactions and activities that focus on building mental health care. These activities consisted of multiple yoga and breathing exercises, painting kindness rocks, face painting, constructing peace bracelets, and more. “We really wanted to bring something unique to our school and get all the parents and students involved. Even some parents from Hurley have come out to help us and that shows just how much these sorts of efforts are appreciated by the community and how important they are to us.” Rosalba Romero, a Parent Mentor Organizer, shared.
This is not the end of the Beyond the Classroom Campaign as there are still many Parent Mentors working in other schools to bring about positive changes. Be on the lookout for more coverage of the many different initiatives that the Parent Mentors are doing.