La Prensa América presents:

David Valladolid: Creating Partnerships Between Parents, Students and Schools


By Ana Gomez Salcido PIQE David2011

As President and CEO of the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), David Valladolid has spent the past 20 years managing and overseeing all administrative and personnel aspects of this organization.

PIQE creates partnerships between parents, students, and educators to further students academic achievement.

Since 1987, PIQE has graduated more than 610,000 low-income parents from their nine-week Parent Engagement in Education Program, PIQE’s main program.

“The program promotes the idea that parents need to visit their children’s teachers. The parents need to know what questions they need to ask to their children’s teachers,” said Valladolid, who was Chief of Staff to State Assemblyman Peter Chacon in the 1980s. “Parents need to ask the teachers how are their children progressing at school.”

Valladolid explained that PIQE’s mission is to provide families with the knowledge and skills to partner with schools and communities to ensure their children achieve their full potential.

Valladolid’s interest in involving parents in their children’s education began in 1980 during a meeting between a handful of parents and teachers at Sherman Heights Elementary School, where 99 percent of the students were Latino.

“There were only eight or nine parents at a meeting with teachers and they wanted to focus on their children. Eight weeks later, more parents got involved and at least 94 parents eventually showed up. At a later meeting we documented at least 54 key areas that needed attention,” said Valladolid.

Two community leaders, Reverend Vahac Mardirosian and Alberto Ochoa, remained concerned about the poor learning conditions of Latino students in San Diego and founded PIQE, to which Valladolid was invited to be part of.

“PIQE’s programs results have been overwhelming,” said Valladolid.

The education of more than 1.8 million K-12 students has been enhanced through PIQE.

According to Valladolid, the nine-week Parent Engagement in Education program remains the main program at PIQE, but there are other supplemental programs that reinforce the parents learning for involvement in their children’s education.

According to studies, 40 percent of low-income students are already two years behind when they begin their K-12 education, so there is a six-week class in PIQE so parents can about learn the school system.

“92 percent of the families we serve are from low-income,” added Valladolid. So far, PIQE has worked with more than 5,000 schools in 350 different school districts, and has helped parents in 16 diverse languages.

“High school is not the end, and although we know there are a lot of children that don’t go to college, we want to let them know that college is always an option,” said Valladolid.

“Income can not dictate if a student goes to college. There are a lot of programs that can help a student get through college, and we give the parents all the information about them.”

Some of the parents that have been part of PIQE’s programs that have had their children graduate from high school, or that have children graduate from college, work as recruiters to reach more parents and their children.

“We have families like the Perez family in Los Angeles, that have been students from PIQE’s programs in different occasions for their children. They now have 11 children that have graduated from college,” said Valladolid.

Valladolid’s responsibilities include financial management, fund development, program operations, new hires, and program evaluations. He also serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization and as the liaison to the PIQE Board of Directors.

Valladolid has been instrumental in expanding and opening 10 regional offices across California and replicating PIQE’s Parent Engagement in Education Program in Texas, Arizona, and Virginia.

Valladolid has played a critical role in the implementation of PIQE’s Best Practice Model in 10 other states. He remains critical in the promotion of PIQE’s Best Practice Model across the nation.

“We teach in other states how to replicate this program,” said Valladolid. “There was even interest in the program from Mexico. Representatives from Mexico City visited the LA branch and learned about the program and applied it in Mexico City.”

Valladolid firmly believes that we as a community should support parents so that they can provide their children with unconditional love, academic, social, and emotional support so families and children may be successful in school and in life.

“Parents are the first teachers of their children, and the first leaders of every child,” said Valladolid. “When they can work in a respectful way with the teachers in school, their children are the ultimate benefactor of that partnership. That is why we are so passionate in trying to get as many parents as we can involve in the education of their children at home and at school.”

 

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