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Salem Keizer Coalition for Equality
Advocating equality, education and empowerment by providing leadership opportunities to Spanish speaking parents. Parent-led literacy programs help children build vocabulary and perform at grade level.
One day I was in my home watching television, I'm not going to lie, I was the type of father who would come home from work and thought that by bringing home the money, I was fulfilling my role as a father. I received a call from the principal. She told me that my son needed help because his academic level was very low . . . she talked with me about the program, Leyendo Avanzamos . . . that it was to learn how to support my son . . . I came the first day and they explained to me what the program was about . . . all the different ways I could help my son. Because of that, we began at home to have an hour a day to study with them. I had always followed the thinking that this job is only for women . . . take care of the children and help them with their schoolwork. But in reality, my mentality changed a lot about this - a real man has to be involved with their children. We began in level 4 and in three weeks, my son reached level 14. I became so involved that I began to talk with the teacher and the teacher was so excited - as my wife and son were - because we were seeing day by day . . . the transformation. He started paying more attention in school and began to love school and to love reading. This program helped me be closer to them - to my family. Now the standards have changed a lot-we were accustomed to saying that my child will learn in school, or it is the job of the teacher to teach our children. But in reality, it is not true. It is not only the job of the teacher but of the parents also. I exhort men to . . . make time and space for their children so they can see what you can do for them . . . and as a parent, feel proud . . . because our children are the future.