by Elizabeth McAninch
English Skills Learning Center
Empowering Parents Coordinator
The mission at the English Skills Learning Center and it’s Empowering Parents program aims to help parents of school-aged children, by providing the language tools necessary for integration and success in the United States school system.
This mission would not be possible without our partners in the community, including our elementary schools. While the partnership between the English Skills Learning Center and Oquirrh Hills Elementary School, a United Way of Salt Lake Neighborhood Center located in Kearns, is fairly new — over the past year, it has become a model for a thriving, student-centered cooperation, that aims to further the shared goals of United Way of Salt Lake’s Collective Impact work, as well as empower parents learning a new language and culture.
Last school year, we were able to reach out to parents of children at Oquirrh Hills and other community members, and offer free English classes with 10-15 students attending twice a week. These students engaged in lessons that discussed a wide variety of subjects such as report cards, parent-teacher conferences, attendance, and an array of other topics. Some students are back for their second year in the 2014/2015 school year, with a fierce determination to give their children the best chance of success in school as possible!
Student engagement, retention, and success would not be as strong without the partnership that has emerged between the two organizations and we hope to continue to engage parents in significant and relevant learning for years to come!