A pilot program ready to launch in Phoenix and Yuma could become a model for school districts across the state as families continue to navigate the challenges of distance learning.
The organization ALL In Education is creating the Parent Educator Academy, a four-week online training course that will help teach parents how to better support their children while distance learning and help bridge the technology gap.
Through a partnership with The New Teacher Project and Chicanos Por La Causa, the program will also go a step further and get participants certified as a Teaching Assistants, even if that means starting with completing your GED.
Participating school districts will also be working with the PEA to help funnel those new Teaching Assistants into jobs within their own districts.
Stephanie Parra, with the PEA, says the kids will benefit, it creates job opportunities for families who may be collecting unemployment because of the pandemic, and it helps solve the ongoing problem of teacher shortages seen statewide.
"We know as educators a child's greatest barrier to academic achievement is poverty. Now, through this pandemic and the economic implications hitting families left and right, we're really getting our educators to think differently about how we're going to create opportunity for communities that typically don't have opportunities like this afforded to them," she said.
There are three info sessions that will live stream on the Parent Educator Academy Facebook page.
- September 22 at 10:00 am.
- September 23 at Noon.
- September 24 at 5:00 p.m.
Courses will start mid-October.
Parra says the pilot is starting in schools that are largely within underserved minority communities where coronavirus has had a bigger impact and where families and teachers need extra support.
Participating districts right now are:
- Academia del Pueblo - Friendly House | Charter school (K-8)
- Vista College Prep | Charter school (K-8)
- Roosevelt Elementary | Urban elementary school (Grades K-8)
- Phoenix Union | Urban high school (Grades 9-12)
- Yuma Union | Rural high school (Grades 9-12)