The Parent Academic Coaching Empowerment (PACE) meets the social and educational needs of parents/grandparents/legal guardians of K-12 students who attend public and private schools located in the New York Metropolitan area. Parents gain access to the PACE curriculum and peer support for six hours per month over the course of a 10-month cycle. The PACE curriculum goals aim to: (1) provide parents with real-life tools/life skills to manage everyday stressors; and (2) improve teacher/administrative communication strategies; and (3) reduce barriers to professional support for long-term assistance and/or self-care.
Approximately 70 percent of parents self-manage the household and more than 90 percent of parents live at (or below) the defined state and federal poverty guidelines. In addition, 10 percent of parents are newly arrived members of the community and represent a growing immigrant population. More than 90 percent of teachers were born, reared, and/or educated outside of Brooklyn, NY.
The PACE curriculum is rooted in imperial research, conducted by Dr. Joyce Epstein, who identified low parental engagement as a barrier to reach academic success among young learners. In response to the myriad of challenges low-income parents face—ranging from poor work-life balance to lack of confidence during teacher conferences-- the PACE curriculum provides parents with information, peer support, and healthy, transferrable skillsets applicable to home life, the classroom setting, and community-at large. The curriculum relies on interactive workshops, guest speakers, and two scheduled field trips to work through complex parental issues. Dedicated staff, volunteers, and credentialed professionals also play an essential role in the deliverance of culturally-sensitive material in a setting that is both educational and emotionally supportive.
Each session begins with a round table “check-in” process that allows program participants an opportunity to briefly reflect and recap an experience that linked to a previous workshop theme. Facilitators then introduce a new theme, share information, and invite participants to explore the topic through a combination of activities (small group discussions, textile projects, role play, etc.). Each session closes with an instructor-led recital of a positive affirmation.
FBMCP relies on collaborative partnerships, with licensed professionals, to co-facilitate workshops and learning activities with the parents. The organization believes such relationships not only add credibility to the program, but more importantly, make parental access to professional care (mental health, wellness, finances, etc.) safer, easier, and quicker.
In many cases, FBMCP serves as a “community connector” by linking parents to local resources based on workshop themes or conversations that stem from the PACE experience.
Program participants are encouraged to join and recruited three months prior to the program start date using formal (announcements in the school bulletin) and informal methods of communication, i.e., word of mouth marketing. PACE training locations are based on community and educational needs. FBMCP collaborates with school administrators to secure activity space.
The program will use quantitative measures to measure program participation outputs, i.e., attendance records and qualitative approaches to determine the fidelity of professional development implementation, such as open-ended questions throughout the training, observations, pre, and post-session surveys, 30 and 60-day follow-up participant calls.
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Parent Academic Coaching Empowerment