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Centro Hispano Graduates 1st Virtual Cohort of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors Initiative

by Centro Hispano Daniel Torres

Centro Hispano Graduates 1st Virtual Cohort of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors Initiative

Centro Hispano is proud to announce the successful completion and graduation of the first all virtual program of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors on Wednesday June 16.

Abriendo Puertas is a peer-to-peer Parental Engagement training program that seeks to improve the outcomes of our nation’s most vulnerable children by focusing on building the capacity and confidence of parents to be strong and powerful advocates in the lives of their children. The mission of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors is to honor and support parents as leaders of their families and their child’s first and most influential teacher.

“Parents are powerful agents of change in the lives of their children and communities. They are the first to lead the way to positive outcomes for their children. This program was halted during the Covid crisis until Centro Hispano decided to provide the program virtually,” stated Ineavelle Ruiz, Human Service Director of Hispanic Center Daniel Torres.

Through the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors Program, parents participate in local programs to strengthen their leadership, knowledge and support systems – all key in preparing their young children for school success. They attend ten interactive sessions to assist them in building strong foundations for their children in reading, math, technology, health and more. Parents also provide a support system for each other, making what they learn a part of daily life while being highly involved in the first five critical years of life

“While our parental engagement initiative was paused due to the pandemic, we continued to work on how we could deliver and meet parents where they are with this program.  With support from the United Way of Berks County we were able to invest in tablets that have allowed the program to continue virtually, bringing young families back together,” stated Mike Toledo, President of Hispanic Center. “Those tablets also allowed the children to have access to over education apps, books, videos, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more.  We strive to follow our belief of breaking down walls and building bridges for the families we serve.”

Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors is a transformational, culturally-relevant, and evidence-based program that reflects the culture and realities of diverse families, draws from real-life experiences, and incorporates data about local schools and services. The curriculum is grounded in research, reflects parent input, and uses the “popular education” approach to engage parents.