FONTANA – A group of 140 adult students recently graduated from the Plazas Comunitarias program, an innovative educational support program designed to give Latin American-born parents a chance to continue their formal education.
The Fontana Unified School District partners with the Mexican Consulate in San Bernardino on the program, which proves it’s never too late to learn. Graduates celebrated their achievements during a Jurupa Hills High School ceremony on May 31, receiving certificates for completing a nine-week Digital Learning and Financial Literacy course offered by the Consulate and Supérate y Triunfa, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower Latino parents to pursue educational success.
“We could not be prouder of our parents who are seizing the opportunity to advance their education, creating a path for their children to follow,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Dr. Leslie Boozer said. “Through these programs, our parents are becoming role models to their children and galvanizing the community to take a part in our students’ achievement.”
Establishing an academic foundation for Latino immigrants, Plazas Comunitarias enables participants to complete their education in Spanish and study subjects at the elementary, secondary and high school levels. Parents can also complete their GED in Spanish and proceed to Chaffey College for additional growth. Graduates of the program are invited to become facilitators and pass along the knowledge they acquired.
The introductory technology course held at the Fontana Adult School taught students how to use a computer, navigate the Internet, create an email account and create a Q Direct account to monitor their child’s academic progress, attendance and school activities. Parents were also taught how to use Microsoft Office and create documents and presentations with Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
“Watching the growth that happens from the time a parent enters our classroom until they walk across the stage and receive a diploma is truly inspiring,” said Michael Garcia, principal on assignment for the District’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Department. “We believe every family should have that opportunity and, thanks to the partnerships we’ve established, the parents of this community can continue to be engaged in their own continued learning and that of their children.”
Since establishing the partnership in 2015, more than 400 Fontana parents have completed the technology program, which offers classes from September to May.
“Every day we strive to create generations of families who have the opportunity to pursue their educational endeavors, and we are proud to offer a program that gives them the pathway to do so,” Fontana Unified Board President Lorena Corona said. “It is never too late to learn, and I want to congratulate our graduating parents for proving it. While it may have been a challenging process, it will have a transformative impact on a parent’s pursuit of education for themselves and their children.”
PLAZAS: Salomon Rosas Ramirez of the Mexican Consulate in San Bernardino addresses graduates of the Plazas Comunitarias program for Latin American-born parents during a graduation ceremony held at Fontana Unified’s Jurupa Hills High School on May 31.