Solutions for Success

Education Begins at Home

We are a nation of immigrants. For hundreds of years, our families have contributed to American culture. In these pages, you will read about an innovative program sponsored by Southwest Solutions in Detroit, Michigan, that teaches Hispanic-immigrant parents English while these parents also are ensuring their children’s success at school. Over nearly half a century, this large and creative nonprofit has often been in the national spotlight for programs engaging in residents in transforming their own community.

In this book, you’ll discover the origins, development and the present-day success of a program within a Southwest agency that has the support of the national Social Innovation Fund and also the National Center for Family Literacy. Rigorous evaluation has demonstrated the program’s effectiveness and the talents of the professionals who continue to expand this work in Detroit’s Latino neighborhoods.

Starting with opportunities for parents to learn English, the program invites these parents also to take part in their children’s classrooms and to develop their own neighborhood programs to help the entire community. From cleaning up schoolyards and planting gardens to hosting a neighborhood celebration of literacy, these newcomers are transforming life in Detroit.

This book is organized to help you understand how this work got started, the challenges the Southwest team faced in expanding the program—and the responses of children and parents who have taken on these challenges. The goal of this book, and others in The Bib to Backpack Learning Series from United Way for Southeastern Michigan, is to inspire readers and share enough information to help students, parents and community leaders across the U.S. get involved in a similar way.

Look for other books in The Bib to Backpack Learning Series.

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