Students looked into best practices for engaging immigrant and refugee parents on topics related to their children’s education. Working with the Hartford Public Library’s Immigrant Youth Project, students researched current immigration and refugee settlement patterns throughout Hartford. They identified ways that other places had engaged immigrant parents in their kids’ education and constructed a qualitative interview and survey instrument to investigate how Hartford’s immigrant parents and adolescent children related to one another through education. They found that, overall, parents were interested and committed to working with their kids’ schools, believing that education was a key to a better life. Despite these beliefs and desires, common barriers such as language differences and work hours sometimes got in the way. When asked about methods to increase engagement, parents were very interested in working on collaborative homework assignments with their kids, like engagement strategies that involved teaching a child to cook a recipe from the home country or interviewing a parent about their early life. They were also in favor of more field trips that they could participate in with their kids.
Odermann, Alison; Rodriguez, Tyesha; and Triumph, Clinton, "Parent Engagement" (2018). Liberal Arts Action Lab. 24.
Community partner: Hartford Public Library