The Partnership for Community Action has worked to improve educational outcomes, focusing on education reform, closing the achievement gap, and offering quality school choice options for students and their families. PCA works to equip families with the knowledge and tools needed to advocate for their children. We work with parents, community members, and educational leaders to ensure our students receive the best start and best education.
Kids are our priority and our future. We need to make bold and permanent investments in our children. Every child deserves the resources and opportunities to succeed in school and throughout life.
– Adrian Pedroza
Brain science tells us that ninety percent of a child’s brain develops before the age of six. Yet we as a society have not responded adequately to this relatively new research. We actively engage with initiatives that ensure our children receive the best education and opportunities from birth to graduation.
Growth Through Leadership Development
Communities for Education and Action
Through the Communities for Education and Action (CEA) project, PCA is helping to build a movement of active, passionate and engaged parent advocates that promote quality early learning for our state’s children. These are the best advocates for children. Parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. Through a series of dialogue based, early learning classes, training workshops and opportunities to take action, parents grow into leaders and strong advocates for their child’s education in the home, school and greater community. With support from one-another, parents are transforming our community. The CEA project is based in Southwest Albuquerque.
Building from cultural assets
The CEA project is based in the national Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors curriculum. Parents from across the community join parent leadership classes that focus on early learning and advocacy within the school. Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors emphasizes that parents are the best first teachers of their children and uses culturally-based dichos as the springboards for each lesson. Having leaders who understand the community’s experience combined with a parent-led curriculum ensures that we build upon the assets of parents and their families.
Communities for Education and Action has provided early childhood, leadership, and advocacy training to over 600 families across 18 community-schools in SW and SE Albuquerque.
Our model: Growth through leadership development
Leadership development is a key component of the Communities for Education and Action project. Our model is unique in that we teach the class solely through interns who are graduate parents from previous classes. They are parents who demonstrate the desire to become leaders in their school. They apprentice under a seasoned facilitator and then return to their children’s school and community to become a lead facilitator. Through this model, CEA is not only supporting the development of strong leaders, but also building capacity that is integral to its long-term sustainability and growth.
Since the project began in 2010, its positive impact has extended from young children to families to communities to the state. Specifically, CEA has supported:
- The state increasing its acknowledgement and investment in quality early childhood education;
- Families learning how to successfully navigate the educational system and feel ownership of their children’s educational success;
- Improving the quality of early learning opportunities to support the healthy development and learning of children birth to eight years;
- Families becoming strong advocates on behalf of quality education and systems change at the local and state level;
- The creation of a parent-led early childhood cooperative that is assisting with the implementation of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors in Albuquerque and provides consultation, evaluation and other services around early childhood education; and
- Parents engaging in civic activity at all levels of the community including: joining decision making groups at their children’s school, participating in voter registration and voter education, participating in city council meetings and county commission meetings, advocating at the state legislature, and visiting our nation’s capitol to discuss the creation of a national network of parent leaders with leadership organizations from across the U.S .
I now understand the importance of early childhood education and how we can impact a child’s brain development – even while they are in their mom’s tummy.
– Zully Rodriguez, CEA parent leader
During a meeting, some parents raised a concern about the school’s dual language program. CEA parent leaders who attend that school chimed-in and very professionally explained the multitude of benefits children receive when they are bilingual.
– Principal Annittra Altar, Adobe Acres Elementary