My First Teacher Program

June 26, 2016

My First Teacher is a new program that brings parents all throughout the Southeast together with one common purpose: improve their children's academic success.

The program, which embraces "leadership development through storytelling," is a 10-week leadership program that empowers parents to play a more active role in their children's education.

More specifically, My First Teacher tackles various issues facing early education, from addressing the teacher to student classroom ratio to the accessibility of parents becoming volunteers in the classroom. The program currently has a small number of parents, a majority of which are parents who come from working class, immigrant communities who speak limited English.

Maria Chavez and Genoveva Catrellon are among the six parent leaders from the program who are trying to tackle issues facing parent volunteers. As part of the first cohort of leaders, they are currently trying to address the often burdensome screening process required for parent volunteers, which consists of expensive health exams and checkups. Maria Chavez and Genoveva Catrellon are in many ways representative of the program's ability to train future leaders and advocates, since both are currently involved in their communities.

Despite all odds, My First Teacher continues to be a valuable resource to the district and to parents seeking to play a first-hand role in their children's academic success.