Houston organization aims to bridge communication gap between HISD parents and educators

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A nonprofit created to help Latino families connect with Houston ISD education leaders is looking to expand its reach due to the demand.

Houston ISD is the largest school district in Texas, serving nearly 200,000 students. According to the district's website, 61.8% of its student population is Hispanic.

Sandra Rodriguez, the director of advocacy with Latinos for Education, said organizers with the group did not see this representation reflected at an HISD school board meeting. That's what prompted the creation of Latinos for Education and its program Familias Latinas Por La Educacion, which included 17 families this summer.

"The program that we implemented and launched this summer, Familias Latinas Por La Educacion, was in response to the lack of family engagement in HISD and across Houston," Rodriguez said. "We work with the families. We work with leaders in our community, including Latino leaders and other leaders, who work directly with our students, our children."

Rodriguez said it's a collaborative effort to help bridge the communication gap between parents and educators. While guiding parents to understand the challenges students face and the opportunities that are available.

Noelia Fadic is a parent to three HISD students and she joined the Familias Latinas Por La Educacion fellowship this summer. She said it is especially beneficial for families who may only speak one language but also want to advocate for their children.

"Let's make a difference with our kids' lives and it starts with us," Fadic said. "It starts with us making the relationship with the teacher, first of all. It has to be that relationship with the principals. There's got to be the relationship with the community and if we all come together, we can definitely be a strong team and make that difference that we want."

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