Denise knows that it takes a village and that is why she participates in the Children’s Defense Fund Parent Engagement Institute, a pilot program spearheaded by CDF-CA in partnership with Success In Challenges in Long Beach. The skills and tools she gains through the Institute she shares with her daughter and son-in-law.
The Institute brings parents of CDF Freedom Schools’ scholars and others together to introduce an asset-based and culturally rich curriculum that uses traditional methods of learning, teaching and parent-to-child bonding through storytelling, reading together and the practice of language in the midst of activity as ways parents can support and enhance childrens’ learning experience at home.
Denise, having been a single mother, understands the heavy demands of everyday life of parents and how challenging it is to participate in school activities. But, she said, the rewards that come from parent engagement are so great, and it is a much-needed investment for children as well as one that parents and grandparents can benefit from. Denise attends the parent sessions that are hosted on Saturday. One important tool she’s learned is the power of storytelling.
“I especially enjoy looking at the use of storytelling as a way I can bond and educate my grandchildren about history. There’s mutual learning that occurs between child and adult through storytelling!” explains Denise.