The Parent Mentor Program runs side by side with each school semester, ensuring that when students are in the schools, the Parent Mentors are right there with them and their teachers to provide a helping hand. The Parent Mentors prepare long in advance to make sure that they are mentally and programmatically ready to fulfill their roles. Through the summer, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) Parent Mentors are participating in back-to-school events, spreading word of the Parent Mentor Program, recruiting potential Parent Mentors who want to be more involved in their children’s education, and going through professional development training to set expectations and bond with other Parent Mentors.
Through the back-to-school events, Parent Mentors can meet community members, faculty and parents that are looking to send their children to neighborhood schools . This allows the Parent Mentors to set one-to-ones and have conversations that will potentially allow them to assist the individuals they talk to depending on their interests. When the Parent Mentors aren’t engaging in the community, they are engaging one another through professional development training. This training allows the Parent Mentors to delve deeper into their goals, motivations, expectations and the capacity that each of them has for their work and families.
With the increase from serving 225 schools, to 249 statewide, the Parent Mentors have their work cut out for them, but it is work that they readily take on. Though the fall semester has yet to begin, the Parent Mentors continue to prepare until the day arrives for them to take their spots in their community’s schools.