Parent Report from Alpha Parent Learning Center – “They Help Us Find Resources”
By Mirella in conversation with Alejandro Espinoza, Alpha Parent Learning Center Lead
ACE Note: The Alpha Parent Learning Center (an ACE Learning Center) is about supporting the parent(s) of any Alpha School’s student. When the coronavirus shelter-at-home order closed schools, the Alpha Parent Learning Center’s focus continued to be on helping parents, just in a different way. Many families saw their incomes plummet or vanish, and Alpha created the Alpha Family Emergency Fund to assist families. Money for food, rent and other needed expenses was offered to each family. ACE donated to the fund as our mission of assisting with learning appropriately changed to assisting our friends and partners at the ACE Learning Centers.
The ACE Spectrum Blog will focus on telling several parent’s stories about how the Alpha Parent Learning Center is an important part of their – and their family’s – life. Here’s a report from Mirella and her two children, Georgina and Javier, in conversation with Alejandro.
Alejandro: Hi Mirella. You have two children attending the Alpha schools. Who are they and what grade level are they?
Mirella: My youngest is Javier in 10th Grade at Alpha Cindy Avitia and Georgina, who is a graduating senior from Alpha Cindy Avitia High School and will attend SJSU in Fall 2020.
Alejandro: How long have you been attending the Alpha Parent Learning Center and what areas are you involved in?
Mirella: I have been a parent leader for four years and have been involved in bringing resources to our communities through the ACE center. I have also been part of the support groups for six months which I joined in order to have a space where we as parents can talk about our childrens’ education and also talk about any resources for parents that we would like to have in Alpha throughout the Learning Center. We have been involved in the Food Bank to serve free food to our communities, including Georgina for two years and Javier for 1 year. My children have been part of the Dream Club for years. In the club, they have developed a lot of interpersonal and leadership skills and they love to organize events and do fundraisers to support undocumented students to go to college.
Alejandro: Why did you want to attend the Alpha Parent Learning Center?
Mirella: I wanted to attend the Alpha Parent Learning Center because I wanted to learn about the resources the school provided for our community.
Georgina: I wanted to attend because I wanted to give back to my community and help out in any way I can.
Javier: I wanted to attend because I also like helping my community in any way I could.
Alejandro: What is the main thing you learned at the Alpha Parent Learning Center and what is the benefit to you and your family?
Mirella: I learned how to help my kids at school, find resources within my community, how to have my voice be heard at school. It helped me unravel myself as a parent leader.
Javier: It helped me become more independent. It helped me open up more as a person. It helped me learn to become a leader.
Georgina: I learned that I can use my benefits to benefit others without them. The Dream Club has helped me grow as a person and obtain leadership skills.
Alejandro: How has the pandemic management requirements impacted you and your family?
Mirella: Economically quite a lot because I don’t work outside my house and my husband had to stop working for three months.
Alejandro: How has the Alpha Parent Center Learning Center helped you through this time?
Mirella: We are using the funds from the emergency fund for rent and we did receive a laptop so my son could use it for his online classes.
Alejandro: What do you love best about the Alpha Parent Learning Center?
Mirella: What I love is that they help us as parents with programs and resources or, if they don’t have those resources, they help us find those resources.
Note: This interview has been edited for style and clarity.