DALLAS, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Four teachers recently returned from an educational trip to Washington, D.C., as a reward for their work as Ambassadors for Parents Step Ahead, a Dallas-based nonprofit organization. The trip was sponsored by American Airlines, LATINA Style Magazine, and Hyatt hotels.
While in the nation's capital, the teachers met with Juan Sepulveda, Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, attended a meeting at the National Education Agency (NEA), participated in the LATINA Style 50 conference, and were honored by Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) with a certificate of Congressional recognition.
The four teacher Ambassadors selected during the organization's annual "Parent of the Year" gala in December are:
- Michelle Hornbuckle, Jack E. Singley Academy, Irving ISD
- Tanya Jones, Thomas Haley Elementary, Irving ISD
- San Juanita Nekunazarazad, W.C. Daugherty Elementary, Garland ISD
- Penan Stewart, Urban Park Elementary, Dallas ISD
At the Department of Education, the teachers focused on the challenges undocumented students face in applying for college, and on President Obama's efforts to make parental engagement a key Department of Education agenda item. At NEA, the teachers discussed partnerships for parental engagement and family-school-community, as well as NEA's English Language Learners Culture and Equity program.
"The recognition that we received from everyone we encountered was breathtaking. I really cannot describe the feeling in words. I now have personal contacts for people who are involved in national education reform. This is the greatest gift any school administrator could ask for," said Tanya B. Jones, Principal of Thomas Haley Elementary.
Ambassadors are teachers and administrators who actively engage parents who typically do not participate in their children's education. The Ambassadors make phone calls to parents, volunteer at events, and assist with marketing Parents Step Ahead.
"When we asked American Airlines for help with this experience, they did not hesitate for a second in offering us their support. American Airlines, Hyatt, and LATINA Style Magazine know that education is the basis for all success, and for that reason they came together with great enthusiasm for this initiative," said Lupita Colmenero, Founder and Chair of Parents Step Ahead.
Parents Step Ahead and American Airlines plan to continue their partnership to award another trip during the organization's December 2011 gala so four more Ambassadors can travel to Washington D.C. in 2012.
"American Airlines is excited to partner with Parents Step Ahead on an important initiative that awarded these teachers with round-trip airfare for making a positive impact on the North Texas community," said Juan Rios, Manager of Hispanic Markets for American Airlines. "We have been a constant supporter of Parents Step Ahead and their effort to bring together schools, teachers, and parents in order to make the community a stronger place for our children."
About Parents Step Ahead
Parents Step Ahead is a 501-C3 nonprofit organization with a mission "to recognize, educate, enable and empower parents to take a proactive role in the educational and personal development of their children." The organization works in partnership with school districts, corporations and community organizations to offer a series of school-based programs for parents. Educators, motivational speakers, community volunteers and parenting experts present seminars on topics such as college preparation, bullying, computer literacy, Internet safety, raising kids with love and logic, and health and financial issues. Programs focus on ways parents and legal guardians can be involved in their child's life and the difference their involvement can make. www.parentsstepahead.org.
SOURCE Parents Step Ahead