With an eye toward the exciting start of school, 110 families attended Mission Promise Neighborhood’s third annual Education Forum at the Mission Campus of City College on July 29. The theme was ”Putting Success in a Backpack,” but the event offered so much more. MEDA is the lead agency of the Mission Promise Neighborhood education initiative. (See event photos.)
The majority of students attending were from pre-K to 8th grade, with families having been made aware of the day’s agenda from fliers, partner agencies or other family members.
Mission Promise Neighborhood Associate Director Liz Cortez welcomed attendees, sharing her own inspiring story that showcases the importance of parents taking an active role in their child’s education. Cortez explained how her own parents lent such support, despite their being newcomers not cognizant of how to get into college in this country. Such support translated to Cortez earning her degree.
Next up was a panel conversation moderated by Amelia M. Martínez-Bankhead, a Mission Graduates board member. Five parents provided information about the upcoming workshops, telling of their experiences applying for affordable housing, getting family finances in order, promoting reading at home or creating a college-going culture at home. Their words definitely resonated with the crowd for their attending following workshops; Abriendo Puertas; Literacy Champions; How to Pay for College; Family Financial Health; Overcoming English Language Barriers in Schools, Housing Lottery Readiness; and Reclassification. The latter proved popular, with Mission Graduates and Familias Liderando la Educación Exitosa (FLEE) leading education around this reclassification campaign.
A survey was handed out as a way to better gauge parents’ understanding of Latino reclassification issues for English Language Learners. There were 76 surveys completed, and parents will now be invited to attend groups at Mission Promise Neighborhood schools, plus become active participants in the reclassification campaign.
To keep six- to 13-year-olds engaged and learning while parents attended workshops, a trio of Mission organizations were on hand. The Mission YMCA taught STEM via intriguing science experiments. Instituto Familiar de la Raza offered drumming, the joyous sounds filling the campus’ courtyard. Project Commotion featured jump roping, with athleticism showcased by numerous youngsters.
Once parents exited their workshops, it was time for the distribution of backpacks generously donated by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (MONS). These sturdy backpacks contained everything from notebooks to coloring pens. A raffle was then held for backpacks teeming with even more much-needed items for the school year, with 10 delighted families having their numbers picked.
Additionally, there were raffles for a pair of $20 gift cards from Mateo’s Taqueria, located on Mission Street.
To fostering reading in the community, 280 Spanish- and English-language K-12 books were doled out by the San Francisco Public Library. Volunteers from the library also handed out Talk, Read, Sing bags for infants and toddlers.
For a touch of art, MONS also divvied up complimentary museum passes to a number of San Francisco venues.
To strengthen families, there were 12 resource tables offering materials and free services. Topics ranged from affordable housing and low-cost internet to after-school programs for children and literacy information. Parents walked away with information, pamphlets … and the tools they needed to succeed.
By the time the five-hour Education Forum 2017 came to a close, families were definitely ready for the 2018-2019 school year. Let’s make it a great one!
The Mission Promise Neighborhood acknowledges the partners, volunteers and community members that made the Education Forum 2017 a success. Thank you to Mission Graduates, MEDA, Mission Neighborhood Centers, SFUSD-Early Education Department, Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, Project Commotion, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Mission-YMCA, La Raza Centro Legal, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, AT&T, ScholarMatch and Innovate Public Schools.