When Parents Make an Impact
Strong schools spring from strong communities. At Green Dot, just as we assert an unwavering belief in our students’ potential, so do we declare our deep trust in the potential of our parents. We believe in them, and invest in their future. And with good reason: Studies have shown that parental involvement has a direct effect on how well a child does in school.
But engaging parents and the wider community involves more than just classroom chores and teacher conferences. It needs to be a comprehensive strategy intended to equip families with tools that empower them to enact meaningful changes both at work and at home.
A Perceived Lack of Power
We’ve seen firsthand how, in the communities we serve, some parents shy away from getting involved in their children’s education. Often it’s because they think their voices won’t matter, or don’t count. It’s a belief compounded by barriers of language and culture that alienate them from public institutions that directly impact their quality of life. They think they’re powerless.
That’s why we empower them. By equipping parents with the skills they need to actively engage in the public arena, Green Dot is inspiring them to become advocates for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. To engage with public life and make their voices heard.
For more than a year, Green Dot has been helping parents organize around critical issues in their communities: safer neighborhoods, increased transportation options, and improved communication with public officials. It’s part of a campaign being spearheaded by a new group—United Parents—to address factors beyond the school boundaries that not only get in the way of learning, but also degrade the quality of life in the community.
A Gathering of Voices
This month, United Parents is taking their work to the next level: On December 13, they will host the first annual United Parents Assembly formally inviting public officials to join them in building safer, stronger communities. As a public declaration of their collective voice, the assembly will kick off a new phase of parent-led activism and outreach.
The event, to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, will gather more than 1,500 parents, many of whose children attend a Green Dot school. Those in attendance will announce a formal organizing platform to support issues with far-reaching significance for working families across Southern California: increasing the minimum wage; safe passage for students to and from school; expanding summer jobs programs for youth; matching hard-working parents with training programs and job opportunities; and addressing environmental concerns in impacted neighborhoods.
At Green Dot, we believe in doing. We believe in action. And we understand that educating and organizing parents has a direct effect on the schools, families, and communities we’ve committed to transform. In future posts, we’ll be telling you more about United Parents and the positive changes they’re bringing to Los Angeles—stay tuned.