Education Fairs Reach Out to Parents in Spanish

Spanish-speaking Latino parents often shy away from parent involvement programs like the PTA when many of the other members primarily speak English. For the past five years, a national Spanish-language education and college-readiness fair called the Feria Para Aprender has aimed to bridge that gap.

Radio station KUT recently reported on the fair hosted by the Austin Independent School District in Texas on Saturday. Superintendent Meria Carstarphen acknowledged that it’s difficult to reach parents when there’s a language barrier. “It is very difficult indeed to navigate the complexity of not only the AISD system for education but also for college and even after college,” she said at the event.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that about 13,000 people attended the event. The event targeted all ages and families, from pre-K to high school seniors. Exhibitors included the Girl Scouts, National Hispanic Institute, Catholic Charities and various universities.

Marisela Garcia told the newspaper that she attended because she wants her daughters to eventually go to college. “I have a daughter in high school, and I want to stress to the younger ones, who are 6 and 8, the importance of education,” she said. “I want them to have a good foundation so that they are well-prepared to continue on to college.”

The organization’s website lists which cities are hosting the fairs. Events have been held in Los Angeles and Miami as well. Even if your local school district isn’t participating, you can write about comparable efforts to reach out to parents in Spanish in the districts you cover.

Does your school district have any special education outreach programs in Spanish or targeting Hispanic families in particular? Keep an eye out for programs that are successful (or are struggling to) involve parents in their child’s education.

One thought on “Education Fairs Reach Out to Parents in Spanish

  1. Thank you Katherine so much for shedding some light on the importance of reaching out to all parents and providing them the tools they need to be more involved. Parents Step Ahead (Padres un Paso Adelante) is a nonprofit organization in North Texas dedicated to educating, enabling and empowering parents to take a proactive role in the educational and personal development of their children. We work in partnership with school districts, corporations and community organizations to offer a series of school-based programs for parents, all of which are done both in Spanish and English. Programs are free and include dinner, childcare, community resource fair and the raffle of prizes. Also, about 80% of parents that attend our programs do not have a computer at home so we try our best to bridge the technological gap by raffling a new desktop computer at each of our parent programs.

    For the past six years we have worked to provide parents, of all backgrounds, the indispensable educational tools they need to overcome barriers and help their families succeed. Through our programs and initiatives, we have reached more than 20,000 parents among 45 schools in the North Texas area. Our website,, has more information or feel free to contact us at (214) 357-2186.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s