Facilitator and participants
About the Classes
Education: Our Best Legacy is intended to be delivered by facilitators to parents or caregivers with children in middle school.
The program is delivered through a series of seven school- or community-based classes. Each of the seven classes is designed to last about two hours. All seven class lessons are intended to be taught in their entirety, and in order, because the content is interactive — each lesson builds upon the previous lessons.
Education: Our Best Legacy is currently delivered by University of Minnesota Extension as part of the Children, Youth, and Families At Risk-funded project. To find out more about this project, see the related web page: Partnering for School Success CYFAR Project (PSS CYFAR).
The class series covers nine content areas:
- Expectations — Children learn better when parents have clear and reasonable expectations.
- Structure — Children learn better when parents provide a regular routine.
- Learning — Children learn better when they have opportunities outside of school.
- Support — Children learn better when parents regularly give them verbal support and praise.
- Relationships — Children learn better when they feel safe and accepted at home and at school.
- Modeling — Children learn better when parents and other adults set a good example.
- How to navigate the school system — Some parents do not know enough about the norms and structure of the educational system. This leaves them vulnerable and makes it difficult to provide assistance to and advocate on behalf of their children's success in school.
- How to help their children graduate from high school and seek higher education — Some parents talk about wanting education for their children but don't know how to proceed. Parents often cite “better education for their children” as one of the reasons they immigrated to the United States. They want information on how these goals can be achieved.
- How to achieve self-efficacy — Not all parents feel that they have the right tools to help or support their children to succeed in the educational system and culture. They do not feel confident enough in themselves to be able to help their children.
Class activities intentionally build upon and strengthen the parent-child and parent-school partnership. Here are some examples.
- Throughout the program, participants are given topics (“Conversation Starters”) to discuss and practice with their own children, as well as tasks to be completed together.
- Contacts within the individual middle school, as well as local higher education institutions, are incorporated within the program to serve as a source of information and advocate.
- A panel of school staff helps parents strengthen relationships with staff and learn more about navigating the school system, including what classes to take and who to contact for specific questions about a children’s education.
- Guest speakers from higher education institutions offer information and practical tips for how to support a child while in middle and high school, so parents are motivated and more prepared for seeking higher education upon graduation.
- Classroom activities, such as role playing, discussion, case studies, and checklists, are used to build parents’ confidence in their ability to support their children’s school success.
Facilitator Training for Family Engagement — Get trained to deliver the Education: Our Best Legacy program to parent or caregivers to engage in their middle school child's education.
About the Educational Packages — Find out what is included in the Education: Our Best Legacy educational packages.
About the Development of the Program — Explore how the Education: Our Best Legacy was developed and piloted, and what’s in store for the future.
Latino Focus Group Findings — Review the original research that led to the development of Education: Our Best Legacy classes.