Richard Garcia Executive Director
In 1970, Richard had been working with parents for ten years and saw the inequities that were occurring on a daily basis with Latino children in the schools. After talking to many migrant farmworker families he heard many stories about children being misdiagnosed as having educational disabilities when in fact all they needed was a teacher that could communicate with them in their own language. The parents would often seek his help when they needed someone to be there when they met with school administrators. Many times the parents didn’t know who to contact at the school district if they needed support with tutors, afterschool childcare, transportation, or even having a discussion with the their child’s teacher to learn more about their child’s progress. Parent’s needed information on bilingual education options, Title I and how that program would benefit their child. They were often confused and worried when they would receive word that their child was being considered for special education services. Latino parents would seek information on how they could get their child in gifted and talented programs, but would get frustrated because they couldn’t find school staff that could communicate with them.
Richard Garcia saw that there wasn’t an organization that could provide information, knowledge and skills to Latino parents that would help them help their children. He knew that the migrant parents cared deeply about their children and how they fared with their school work. His decision to do something about it was supported by his wife and in 1980; the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition came to life. It was very informal for the first few years where Richard and his wife Teresa concentrated on organizing and sponsoring a conference for families. This went on for a period of 6year and in 1986 he incorporated the CSPC and became a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The CSPC and its board of directors continued to plan and provide statewide conferences for the Latino families. These conferences became so popular that some of the venues could not accommodate the huge numbers attending. The conferences were held in a number of locations, from Pueblo to Broomfield to Frisco, Grand Junction, Cooper Mountain, Keystone, Breckenridge and on to Colorado Springs.
The following curriculums and trainings are all designed to support parents with the work that they do with their children.
- The Los Padres curriculum was designed in 1996 and since then, the CSPC has trained well over 2,000 dads from across the state of Colorado. It can be used with young dads, granddads and dads. The families who have had the males participate in the training report that it complexly transformed them; the males are more connected with their children and their spouses. The fathers are now as invoked in the lives of their children as the mother.
- The mothers, wives of the fathers that participated in the program, in 1999 demanded that the CSPC do a program for them. They were all very curious about what we were doing to their husbands and partners and wanted the same. We recruited a number of them and a curriculum writer to convert the Los Padres curriculum to a Las Madres curriculum. In 2001 we began proving training for the women. Since then the CSPC has trained well over 800 mothers, grandmothers throughout the state.
- The Three Step early childhood reduction curriculum is a result of a Parent Information and Resource Center grant received by the US Department of Education. This grant required that 30% of the funds be dedicated to early childhood education. Since we were already utilizing a Head Start curriculum called Exploring Parenting In the 21 Century, we added a second step to the parenting portion and called Constructing Academic Student Achievement (CASA) and a home visitation that made up the third step. Thus the name the Three Step program.
- Providers Advancing School Outcomes (PASO) is a high intensity training program for women who are caring for their children and other family’s children. These women are frequently referred to as family, friend or neighbor childcare providers (FFN). It provides 120 hours of class time and 240 hours of home mentoring and coaching. It is a program that we sue to close the achievement gap and to prepare kids for entry into kindergarten.
- Parent leadership team (PLT) is a school based program that helps the school build their parent leadership teams. The main focus is to help the school build a team of parents of color, low income parents and hard to reach parents to become more involved in the education of the child. It prepares them work closer with the classroom teacher, understand the school system and learn how to navigate it better
For more information on the CSPC programs please contact Martha Avila at (720)890-0123 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.