Parent Institute for Quality Education
(PIQE) aims to bring schools, parents and community members
together as partners in the education of under-served children.
May 18, 2006
By MIMI KO CRUZ
Martha Alicia Santiago once thought college
was an unattainable goal for her kids.
"Having children is the most beautiful thing," she said."Every
parent wants what's
best for their kids, and I often thought college would be
wonderful but just a dream that could never be realized."
The La Habra mother of five — ages 5, 8, 12, 16, 17
and 36 — now knows better.
Through a class being offered at Sonora High School by the
Parent Institute for
Quality Education (PIQE) in partnership with Cal State Fullerton,
Santiago said she's learned what it takes to make that college
dream come true.
"I have learned so much about how to prepare my kids for college and about
scholarships and financial aid," Santiago said."I learned
there is help, and PIQE is a great program for parents to
see that their kids can go to college and be successful."
That is the goal of the program, said Juan Dominguez, executive
director of PIQE's Santa Ana office.
a nine–week parent–training program that aims to bring schools,
parents and community members together as partners in the education of under-served
California children. The CSU is providing $575,000 in funding so that CSU campuses — including
Fullerton — can partner with local schools to offer the PIQE program.
PIQE is providing matching funds for the three-year effort.
CSUF has linked up with Sonora, La Habra and Fullerton high
Junior High and Richman Elementary School. Begun in April,
the program at Sonora has 20 parents participating in a morning
class and 50 parents attending in the evening. The program
at La Habra High will commence this summer and at the other
schools in the fall. Over the next two years, CSUF will partner
with different schools, said Donald S. Castro, special assistant
to President Milton A. Gordon.
"This is a parent involvement program," Dominguez said."It is especially for
low-income parents. We want their children to finish high school, go to a university
and get a degree, so we're teaching the parents about the school system, how
to get involved, how to read report cards and school accountability reports
and what the requirements are for college and financial aid."
According to the 2000 U.S. Census,"only 50 percent of students
from low-income homes graduate from high school," Dominguez
said."Of those, only 13 percent are prepared to go to a four-year
university, and only 2 percent of those get a degree. That's
why we believe we need to inform parents and give them a
'college is within our reach' mentality."
Since its inception in San Diego in 1987, PIQE has graduated
more than 350,000 parents and guardians throughout California.
PIQE"is training parents to serve as change agents," Castro
said."It is a wonderful opportunity for parents to learn
to encourage students to be successful and to instill in
them the idea that college can be a reality for them."
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