Throughout the end of January and the beginning of February, the Port Washington Union Free School District’s ENL (English as a New Language) Department is hosting ELL (English Language Learners) Parent Workshops. The parent workshops are for parents with children in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Each workshop has two sessions, one in English and one in Spanish.
Each workshop has a topic that will be explored and discussed to educate parents on how to support their children with academic, social and emotional issues.
“We do a presentation, and we make stopping points throughout the presentation to give an opportunity for the parents to ask questions,” explained Port Washington ENL Director Priscilla Zarate. “And then, at the very end, we open it up for them to post statements or ask other questions. It’s a great opportunity because parents sometimes bring up other things that are happening at the school building level that they’re struggling with, so it really opens up the lines of communication.”
Parents learn more about how to support their children throughout their academic careers and can make connections with other parents experiencing similar things.
Workshop dates are Monday, Jan. 30, and Monday, Feb. 6 and 13. The English sessions are from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and the Spanish sessions are from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 30
• English Session at 6:30 p.m.- How Bilingual Parents Can Support Their Children’s Academic Success. The main goal of this workshop is to provide bilingual parents with recommendations for effective, supportive strategies that help their children achieve academic success.
• Spanish Session at 7:30 p.m.- Cómo Padres Bilingües Pueden Apoyar El Éxito Académico De Sus Hijos. El objetivo principal de este taller es brindar a los padres bilingües recomendaciones de estrategias eficaces de apoyo para ayudar a sus hijos a lograr el éxito académico.
Monday, Feb. 6
• English Session at 6:30 p.m.- Understanding The Interpersonal Effects of Stress, Anxiety, Depression & Trauma Among Children & Adolescents. This workshop will offer helpful parental strategies to support their children and cope with the psycho-emotional impacts of suffering from stress, anxiety, or a traumatic event.
• Spanish Session 7:30 p.m.- Comprender los Efectos interpersonales del estrés, Ansiedad, Depresión y Trauma en Niños y Adolescentes. Este taller proporcionará estrategias útiles para los padres para ayudar a sus hijos a hacer frente a los impactos psicoemocionales de sufrir estrés, ansiedad o un evento traumático.
Monday, Feb. 13
• English Session at 6:30 p.m.- Understanding How Mental Health Services Are Provided In & Out of School. The main goal of this workshop is to instruct parents on how to request, access, and find mental health support at times to alleviate their children from mental health concerns or conditions.
• Spanish Session at 7:30 p.m.- Entender Cómo se Brindan Los Servicios De Salud Mental Dentro y Fuera de la Escuela. El objetivo principal de este taller es instruir a los padres para saber cómo solicitar, acceder y encontrar servicios de apoyo de salud mental para aliviar a sus hijos de sospechas y condiciones de salud mental.
Each workshop will be hosted on Zoom. To join the Zoom meeting visit https://portnet-org.zoom.us/j/95696595800 meeting ID: 956 9659 5800. Or dial in by your location: (646) 558 8656 US (New York)
These parent workshops are just one of the many ways Zarate has worked on her vision to improve the accessibility and efficiency of Port Washington School District’s ENL Department.
When Zarate began as the ENL Department Director last year, she considered the district’s and New York State Department of Education’s vision when planning her own ideas for Port. With funding under Title Three, schools must provide professional learning sessions for ELL parents.
The school provides ELL parent orientation hosted by the ENL teachers every year when new students come in. The other sessions have come about due to conversations with departments, such as the social workers and guidance departments. With the parents’ needs and from experience in the department, the district-wide social worker, Daniella Perez, has provided session ideas.
“One of the things that we always find our English language parents struggling with is understanding the educational system of the U.S. versus the educational system they’re coming from,” said Zarate.
The framework for parent workshops Zarate has formed is ELL Faces, an acronym for ELL Family and Community Engagement and Services.
“The idea of that framework is to provide professional learning sessions for our parents in different areas,” said Zarate.
The current parent workshops deal with social, emotional, mental health and trauma support. Another category of workshops is academic readiness and routines support which focuses on scheduling and flexibility. Other categories involve community engagement, college and career readiness, technology support and healthy habits.
“One of the things that the parents loved was the Cornell Cooperatives Healthy Sessions. I’ll be starting that again sometime at the end of February or the beginning of March,” said Zarate. “Providing good, healthy meals for your child is important not only so they can be productive when it comes to school but also because of the pandemic. Supporting your child with healthy eating gives the child a good immune system.”
Regarding community engagement, Zarate is looking to inform parents about community organizations that provide helpful services and make connections.
“I’d like to bring different community-based organizations to provide informational sessions about the services they offer because many of our families are unaware of that,” said Zarate. “If they don’t have health insurance, what do you do? Where are there facilities that provide free or reduced medical help? It’s about educating our parents on how to access resources in the community.”
Offering English-learning parents or parents of English-learning students different learning opportunities to help their children succeed in and out of school is a priority for Zarate and the Port Washington ENL Department.
To stay informed on the workshops the ENL Department offers, visit portnet.org