Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


College of Education and Human Services


Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Victoria Puig

Committee Member

Susan Wray

Committee Member

Katrina Bulkley


Research has shown that parents in today’s society face many obstacles. Many parents have increasing struggles to raise children while earning a living. The more social and political forces parents have to contend with the more the stability of the family structure is threatened (Shonkoff, J.P., Phillips, D.A. (eds). 2000).

There seems to be a chain reaction in our community. As the difficulties in parenting increase so do the difficulties in teaching students. Our community is in need of cohesive programs that will alleviate some of the pressures parents encounter by providing them with programs that will help them rise above societal pitfalls, tap into their community’s resources, attain empowerment and help their families and children.

Many efforts to design programs for parents who are ethnic minorities are hampered because of a lack of understanding of the cultural background of the people who are to be served. Powell, Zambrana, and Silva-Palacios (1990) found that programs for parents are better received and have a greater effect when the people they are designed for have more contribution in the design. This research has reached out to parents of students at Park Avenue school to identify some of the challenges these families face. The staff and parents of Park Avenue school have worked together to begin to create systems of support to address these needs.

The findings of this study show that parents express a need for after school care, especially for their children. During the various stages of creating both the Parent Teacher Organization and its after school program, parents’ reaction and degree of participation indicates a willingness to collaborate with school staff and take advantage of programs that the school provides.

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