By: Kenisha Delgado
Being a parent of a child who required a little extra encouragement to enhance his academic success opened my eyes to how impactful collaboration between parents and educators can be for children, families, and entire communities. When parents are given opportunities to become actively engaged in their child's educational journey, they create supportive home environments that nurture academic success, foster positive attitudes toward learning, and reinforce the value of education. When families are actively involved in education, it strengthens familial bonds, promotes a sense of unity and shared responsibility, and instills a culture of lifelong learning within the household. Ultimately, entire communities benefit from, contributing to overall societal progress and well-being.
That’s why I joined the ACLU of Delaware’s newly launched Education Equity Ambassador (EEA) program. The EEA program recruits, trains, and empowers parents and guardians of students from Wilmington Learning Collaborative (WLC) schools to advocate for our schools and children and enable them with the skills to make changes for the better. As a member of the first EEA cohort, I was equipped with the skills to positively impact my child and all children at WLC schools by advocating for equitable educational opportunities for all students regardless of their circumstances.
Throughout the six-week training program, we learned how to work directly with schools to implement policies that ensure access, diversity, and inclusion in educational programming, and gained the knowledge to advocate on issues like budget equity, restorative justice, inclusion, health and safety, and more. As an EEA, I was surrounded by like-minded parents who were all brought to this room for the benefit of our children. Although we bring different backgrounds, experiences, and motivations to the table, we were given the time and space to share our stories, learn from each other, and focus on our common goals. Being in these rooms proved to me how essential creating networks of parents is in education advocacy, and how it’s these networks that amplify our voices and strengthen our collective efforts.
It doesn’t stop there. With the 2024 legislative session in swing, EEAs are now turning our focus to advocating for legislation, policies, and initiatives to create stronger public school systems statewide.
When parents join forces and feel welcomed and valued by the education community, it builds trust and mutual respect that extend beyond classroom walls. Giving parents access to opportunities like the Education Equity Ambassador program is not only essential for student success but also for the success of our community, state, and country. I am looking forward to continuing to cultivate relationships with educators, school administrators, elected officials, and education advocates through the EEA program. Each of us has an important role to play in this work and can only move forward when we work together.
Visit aclu-de.org/eea to learn more and apply to join the Education Equity Ambassador 2024 Spring cohort.