One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: National Asian Family/School Partnership Project, Boston, MA
Contact(s): Mr. Bouy Te, Project Director: (617) 357-8507
Purpose: To improve educational opportunities of Asian immigrant students and to assist elementary and secondary schools by securing meaningful parent participation from immigrant Asian parents

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Parent/Guardian participation is an important contributor to the success of any student. Cultural differences in educational systems, homeland politics and family traditions have created obstacles for Asian parent participation. In December 1995, the second phase of the National Coalition of Advocates for Students (NCAS) began the National Asian Family/School Partnership Project (NAFSP). NAFSP is funded by the Dewitt-Wallace Reader's Digest Fund. It draws upon the experiences and information gathered from three years of fieldwork conducted by NCAS which addressed the challenges immigrant Asian families face as their children attend U.S. public schools. The NCAS outreach to Asian families helps to eliminate disparities, improve inter-ethnic dialogue and bridge cultural differences.

Program Operations

NAFSP is a capacity building project that focuses on building partnerships between schools, communities and parents. NAFSP has three major goals: 1) to prepare the parents of Asian students to more effectively support and monitor their children's educational needs and to be more effective advocates for their children in school; 2) to assist participating schools to bring about school improvements required to support the academic success of Asian students; and 3) to assist Asian parents in overcoming feelings of isolation and fear that prevent them from fully participating in school life. NAFSP primarily works with the Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese communities in six different cities. NAFSP conducts several major activities and programs: A Training of Trainers institute provides school awareness and school advocacy training for Asian parents; a Needs Assessment and Staff Development Program provides support for participating schools; and a National Media Campaign highlights the activities and the resources of the NAFSP project. In addition, NAFSP develops training and advocacy materials, and builds coalitions between Asian and non-Asian communities.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

NAFSP has supported the development of several new strategies and programs including a statewide network for Southeast Asian parents. NAFSP has published a report entitled, Unfamiliar Partners: Asian Parents and U.S. Public Schools. Currently, NAFSP trains approximately 2,000 parents in its Awareness and Advocacy Training Programs. The next phase of the project will institutionalize the programs and expand programming to other cities.

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