From left: Janevette Cole, instructor for "Project 2 Inspire," and Carolyn Nelson, dean of CSUEB's College of Education and Allied Studies, and principal investigator for HPN. (Photo: Lauren Pitcher)
Thanks to a new course, Project 2 Inspire, offered through the Hayward Promise Neighborhood (HPN) initiative at Harder and Park elementary schools, parents in the Hayward Unified School District have an easily accessible resource to help them successfully navigate through the K-12 school system.
After completing a rigorous 12-week course, the parents were honored at a recognition ceremony in late February at California State University, East Bay.
Project 2 Inspire is one of the many programs offered through HPN to families who live in the city’s Jackson Triangle neighborhood and for students from the neighborhood who attend these schools. With HPN now in its third year, Hayward is among the first five cities in the nation to receive one of President Obama’s Promise Neighborhood grants. The U.S. Department of Education’s investment of $25 million over five years provides an amazing opportunity to make long-lasting changes that will improve the educational outcomes and lives of all residents served by HPN. CSUEB leads the initiative in collaboration with a wide range of local educators, government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation stepped up in 2012 to provide some of the private matching funds required by the federal government. A three-year $852,174 grant is helping improve vulnerable children's school readiness in Hayward by enhancing the early childhood components of the federally funded Promise Neighborhood's implementation grant. One of these enhancements was the introduction last year of Project 2 Inspire at Harder Elementary School.
Project 2 Inspire is designed for parents of students who are traditionally underserved and/or attend program improvement schools. The goal is to increase parents’ understanding of the school system so they can help their children achieve academic success. The curriculum covers the parent role in a child’s education and provides information to inspire them to participate and even become leaders in their local school community. Class topics include: “Parent Involvement: Helping your Child Achieve Academic Success”; “Building Bridges: Family and School Communication”; and “Using Technology and Online Resources.”
Janevette Cole, Project 2 Inspire instructor and HPN community resident engagement specialist, said, “The Project 2 Inspire graduation was a time to celebrate the achievement of the parents as they were honored for their tenacity in completing the rigorous coursework. With certificates in hand and a deeper knowledge of how to advocate for their child through their academic journey, Project 2 Inspire parents are poised to become our future community leaders.”
Following this first year of the program being offered at Harder and Park elementary schools, HPN now is in the process of expanding the program into HPN middle schools.