Action Plan

Our recommendations for the American Place is to get parents and teens engaged outside of classroom. Engagement is not limited to parents attending every school event, rather it is about getting the student and the parent involved in each others lives.

After reviewing our survey, the top five activities included:

  • The parents teach their adolescent how to cook a meal from their home country and the child shares their experience with the class. At the end of this assignment, the class will create a cookbook.
  • The adolescent interviews the parents about what the parent’s wanted when they were young.
  • The parents interview the adolescent about the child’s hopes and dreams.
  • The parent interviews the adolescent about the child’s favorite memory.
  • The adolescent interviews the parents about the parent’s favorite childhood memory.

The engagement strategy of cooking a meal received the highest level of interest. In this scenario, the American Place would give the students the assignment of cooking a cultural meal with their family. Part the process would include learning the recipe, cooking the meal together, and sharing it with the class. We believe this assignment would not only engage the parents in the child’s schoolwork, but  also teach the child English vocabulary in a fun, non-classroom setting. At the conclusion of the assignment and presentations, the Hartford Public Library could create a cookbook of all the different recipes and give them to each of the students.

Our second recommendation is to incorporate one of the interview assignments into the curriculum. This would mean that the child would interview the parent or vise versa, and then the child would have the option of presenting his or her findings to the class or write a paper. This would be an interesting project to incorporate because it engages the parent and student by facilitating a conversation about a personal topic they may otherwise not talk about. This would also help with the student’s language learning as they have to report their findings in English.

We have recommended these engagement strategies because they are cost and time efficient, and every parent and student can participate regardless of work schedule. Our team wants to stress that engagement takes many forms, and the strategies we have found to have the most interest involve activities that can be done in house.

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