New American Pathways Parents as Teachers Awarded 2016 Losos Prize for Impact

Parents as Teachers created the Losos Prize in 2006 to recognize affiliate programs for their extraordinary efforts to fulfil the mission of Parents as Teachers in their communities.  This Prize was named after Carolyn Losos, a longtime supporter of Parents as Teachers and member of the Parents as Teachers Board of Directors who provided outstanding leadership and contributions to Parents as Teachers.  The newest Losos category, the Losos Prize for Impact, recognizes an affiliate program that makes a tangible impact in the community they serve.

This 2016 recipient of the Parents as Teachers Losos Prize for Impact is the New American Pathways Parents as Teachers (PAT) program in Atlanta, Georgia.  Their remarkable work in the refugee community has helped transform the lives of hundreds of families.  Parent educators serve families from 16 different countries, including Myanmar, Bhutan, Iraq, Somalia and Ethiopia.  All of the Parent Educators are resettled refugees themselves and speak many different languages.

The program is an ideal example of how to implement the Parents as Teachers model with fidelity in the refugee community.   Newly-arrived refugees, who represent a wide range of cultures and languages, are under tremendous pressure to adapt quickly to American life and culture. Within a few short months, they are expected to speak English, find sustainable employment, enroll their children in school, and understand the complexities of the American health care system, government programs, the school system, and social services.

Like all parents, refugee parents want their children to succeed, but they are in unfamiliar systems of government, society, and education. The New American Pathways PAT affiliate helps to bridge the gap between refugee families’ needs and state and community resources through additional support, skills building, education, and encouragement.

The concept of “family engagement” varies in meaning in different parts of the world. New American Pathways PAT’s support for parents begins with culturally appropriate training about early childhood development and continues through activities to help them meet the needs of older children and fully understand their parental rights and obligations in American schools.

The New American Pathways PAT staff have consistently met and exceeded the Parents as Teachers Essential Requirements. The supervisor, Anastasia Hardy, is conscientious, dedicated, thoughtful, motivated, realistic, and committed to quality services. She encourages and uplifts each of her parent educators and provides excellent oversight.

We congratulate this innovative program for their tireless dedication to the refugee families of Atlanta.  

 

From left:  Anastasia Hardy (New American Pathways PAT Supervisor), Murakatete Mwangachuchu (parent educator), Hira Chhetri (parent educator)

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