Traditionally, the Hispanic culture is
characterized by an emphasis on warm,
Mrs. Del Valle’s offer is a reminder
that parent outreach is not just about
reaching out to disenfranchised, eco-
nomically challenged parents to raise
student achievement. Certainly it’s
much more than ticking off a checklist
of prescribed action steps for building
home-school connections. At its most
meaningful, parent involvement is about
creating a community of trust, a school
culture in which families want to give
back to the school as much as they may
need to take from it.
At the end of this typical week of
ordinary school-parent interactions,
most of the Daly Elementary School
community was probably not aware that
they had successfully launched one of
their most powerful weapons in the
battle for higher student achievement.
On this particular evening, Mrs. Pan-
iagua, a Hispanic mother with few
material resources, and Mrs. Del Valle,
one who had more than enough to 217-206_APP/SLEad_ 7.187x4.75_4C_Layout 1 7/15/10 3: 21 PM Page 1
share, had figuratively joined hands,
closing the circle of parent involvement
at Daly Elementary School in support of
the hopes and dreams of every child
Author’s note: Parent and student names
1 Henderson, A. T., Johnson, V., Mapp,
K. L., & Davies, D. (2007). Beyond the
bake sale: The essential guide to family-school
partnerships. New York: New Press.
2 Zuniga, R. (1992). Latino families.
In E. W. Lynch and M. J. Hanson (Eds.),
Developing cross-cultural competence. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Susan Zimmerman-Orozco is assistant
principal of Captain James E. Daly Elementary School, Germantown, Maryland;
• Administrative Program for Principals
• Superintendent Letter of Eligibility
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