There are many different challenges immigrant parents face that limit them from being physically involved in school, including language barriers, conflicting work schedules, and cultural barriers. However, research has shown that just because immigrant parents cannot always meet the standard definition of what it means to be an “involved parent” in the United States, it does not mean they are uninvolved or do not value the education of their children. Since 1997, the Jubilee House has been a community adult education and social service center that serves the Hartford immigrant and refugee population. The Jubilee House provides many resources, especially English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) classes. The mission of the staff at Jubilee House is to help immigrants and refugees become proficient in the English language so that they can sustain independence to find employment, find social networks, become active citizens and community members, and if applicable, be able to help their children also be successful. Given that many people who use Jubilee House’s services are parents, I sought to examine the following research questions: How do a parent’s studies impact their children? What practices and supports could be added into the Jubilee Program to promote family literacy? I conducted semi-structured interviews with parents at Jubilee House to explore how they think about their child’s education and how they are involved. I identified four key themes from parents’ responses: specific roles they enact to support their children’s education, aspirations and goals they have for their children, values they wish to teach their children, and how their education at Jubilee House sets an example for their children. I offer specific suggestions for how Jubilee House might expand their programming to meet the needs of immigrant parents.
Monzon, Jackie, "Cultural Variation in Parents’ School Engagement: Evidence from the Jubilee House" (2019). Community Learning Research Fellows. 14.