FEI works in a dual generational model that promotes child and family learning and well being.
All families dream of raising healthy, successful children but not all families have equal access to the support systems that make those dreams a reality.
Elvira’s story begins with FEI’s Strong Start 8-week noncredit college series offered at Scott Lane Elementary School in Santa Clara. Strong Start is one of the many parenting classes FEI provides for families with young children through adolescents. A young mother, Elvira was able to participate in the Strong Start program. During one of the course sessions Sara, the college student assigned to support the parenting class spoke to the group of parents about her experience as an immigrant. She spoke about how she mastered a new language, learned to navigate the educational system and started her educational journey at Foothill College. Now a support staff member for FEI Sara has recently been accepted to graduate school!
Sara’s story was an inspiration to Elvira who had always wanted to further her education but was unsure of what steps to take. One of Sara’s responsibilities working at FEI is knowing just what to do for young parents who are unprepared for college but yet desperately want to change their future with education. Sara gave Elvira personal attention by meeting with her personally, and together deciding what classes Elvira should take and what tests and information Foothill needed to approve her enrollment. Sara then brought Elvira to the campus itself to give her a tour as well as let her take the English placement test and get a bus pass.
Now Elvira is well on her way to accomplishing her educational goals. She continues to take FEI parenting classes in addition to being a Foothill student on track to complete her associate’s degree in Child Development. Because of FEI’s presence within the community, and with Sara’s help, Elvira’s life will forever be changed because of her passionate pursuit of education.
Over its five year history the Family Engagement Institute (FEI) has enrolled over 5,000 low-income parents/caregivers in Foothill College’s Noncredit Parenting classes. These classes provide parents like Elvira with tools and resources to effectively support their children’s education and well-being. FEI also provides trainings and professional development to hundreds of educators and service providers working with low-income families ensuring they have the strategies and skills to authentically engage them. FEI’s Stretch to Kindergarten program has served 400 children who had no preschool experience, and this year will serve an additional 140 families to help these children become kindergarten-ready.
FEI bridges educational inequalities by providing opportunities that strengthen the capacity of families, schools and communities, working together to ensure the success of all students from early childhood through college.
FEI focus on a systemic and integrated approach, which engages families, educators/providers, and community in a mutually supportive manner. Working along an educational continuum (early childhood - college), FEI utilizes a best practices model that provides programs and educational opportunities to underserved children, parents/caregivers, and the educators/providers who serve those students.
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12345 S. El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
Our mission is to change student lives by raising & investing funds to support the educational excellence of Foothill and De Anza colleges.
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