United through Education- Familias Unidas offers support for low-income Latino members of the Redwood City community through virtual family engagement workshops and individual family support through virtual office hours. We help families learn how they can better help their children achieve academic success through reading, math, science, art, technology and health lessons. Through the virtual workshop, we create a safe place for families to strengthen family bonds by spending time with one another and working towards shared goals in a positive learning environment. By being part of our community, families feel a sense of belonging, which is an innate human desire, as many of our participants are Newcomers, just arriving in the country, often with no local family or friends. Families are also encouraged to help one another, by asking questions and sharing stories. We provide our families the opportunity to connect with others in similar situations, which alleviates stress and improves mental health. We also share the benefits of exercise and the importance of having a healthy diet, as we know it is hard to achieve goals without having basic needs met first. Our comprehensive program gives our families the opportunity to thrive in all aspects of their lives.
As these families’ allies, we will continue to collaborate with organizations that share the same mission of academic success for our community. Partnering with the Redwood City School District, allows us to guide parents and students on pertinent learning objectives through virtual workshops. We align our program to teach families critical thinking, problem-solving, using technology, and working together to be able to thrive. We also connect all families with the Redwood City Public Library system as an important resource for community support, technology, programming, and on-going education for both children and adults. We also work with the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley to share their educational family events that help both parents and students with how to apply for college and scholarships. Families are in need of support and guidance on how to help their children and how to be an advocate for their student’s education and we collaborate with organizations to better help our community.
We also partner with organizations that aim to improve our community’s health and well-being. We work with Dignity Health- Sequoia Hospital to share information and available resources about the risks and prevention of childhood obesity and diabetes, which are prevalent in our community. We help our families by collaborating with community programs like Sonrisas Dental Health in San Mateo to get students much-needed dental check-ups free of charge and provide dental health and nutrition education. We continue to teach the importance of mental health and share valuable resources such as Star-vista, the suicide crisis line, and One-Life Counseling. We also share with our families information regarding Human Trafficking, which has saved a few lives! We are also a resource to answer questions the families have about the local programs that are beneficial to their overall health.
We have had an overwhelming positive response from the families who have completed the Familias Unidas program and want to share a few comments we received from our anonymous questionnaire given at the end of the workshop. [quotes translated from Spanish]
“An excellent experience. Familias Unidas taught me to continue reading with my daughter.
It taught me not to stop our reading despite being tired from work because
I have the motivation that one day my daughter can be a professional.
Thank you very much for the opportunity and this experience.”
“I want to comment that for me this class was extraordinary.
It taught me a lot! I loved it and I would like to start [the class] again to never stop learning ...”
“Personally for me it was a very nice experience to dedicate time to these important projects for the whole family.
And the importance to teach our children to have good habits. I was not aware that I had access to a
program like Familias Unidas and I am happy that I was able to attend and have this experience.”
“I learned a lot more than what I imagined and our family was able to work as a team.
My daughter enjoyed it very much, though we felt that our time went by very quickly.
I realized that instilling good reading habits is important to help my children to become someone in life.
Thank you very much for sharing your experiences.”
“It is a group of great support for the entire community, since they keep us informed about all the resources
available for our children to reach their goals. And in these difficult times of COVID 19, they have been of
great support to the community, as they guide us and inform us. All the tools they provide help us stay strong for o
ur children during these very difficult times.”
“[We feel] pleased because without these classes we would not have been aware of all these helpful resources.
Thank you teachers who have always been with us.”
“The program helped me the most with my emotional well-being, having an open mind to different opportunities and resources.
Thank you very much for all the information and help for our community and families.”
“It was an incredible experience because my daughter wakes up every morning wanting to read books and s
he also tries to add large numbers. I am very grateful to the teachers for their unconditional support and dedication!”
“We were given important information about resources, support and advice. More than anything,
they motivated us throughout the pandemic and it helped knowing that we were not alone.
They answered a lot of questions to help our children with their studies.”
“They gave us a lot of necessary information on resources and help. They also taught us the necessary tools
for our children to be better prepared academically and have good habits in life.”
“What helped me the most was how to manage the pandemic to make it less stressful. I enjoyed learning Information
about free food and my children liked the projects and crafts that we did as a family. The teachers and Kim did a great job!”
“Interacting with other families helped us reduce stress caused by COVID-19.
The themes were appropriate for the whole family. I liked how the
students participated and we learned a lot.”
“I really liked how the teachers taught the program. They asked a lot of questions
which encouraged a lot of participation from the children.”
“I do not have the words to say how fortunate I feel to be part of this program. Thanks to all the people
who support and make these classes possible. I hope they continue to receive support
so many more families can also have the wisdom that my family has been given. Many thanks!”