Over 160 parents take free summer courses through PSJA Parental Engagement Program

PHARR - Over 160 parents in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) are continuing their education this summer through free adult education courses offered through the district’s PSJA Parental Engagement Program and South Texas College.

Courses offered this summer include GED, ESL Basic, ESL Intermediate, ESL Advanced at the Napper Parent/Community Education Center and Welding at PSJA Ballew College, Career & Technology Academy. Parents who complete the summer courses taking place until July 1 will earn Certificates of Completion from South Texas College.

“As a mom, it is very important for me to be able to help my kids with their homework. That is my motivation,” said Nancy Franco a PSJA ISD parent of two who is taking an ESL Intermediate course this summer. “I am very grateful for these classes that change our lives. I hope more parents take advantage of them.”

Through the district's nationally recognized parent program, each year over 6,000 PSJA ISD parents participate in free classes in any of the eight Parent/Community Education Centers throughout the tri-city area. At these centers, parents are able to earn college credit and certifications through partners like South Texas College and the Region One Education Service Center.

For Adelita Figueroa-Muñoz, South Texas College Intermediate ESL Instructor, working with PSJA ISD to help parents continue their education for the past two years has been an honor.

“It’s a great privilege and opportunity to empower people with knowledge and skills,” said Figueroa-Muñoz who is currently teaching a summer course at the PSJA Napper Center. “I admire how PSJA ISD goes out of their way to help parents. Other districts may be doing it too, but PSJA goes further, the extra mile to encourage parents.”

In addition to the summer courses, other classes offered through the PSJA Parental Engagement Program thanks to 75 Volunteer Instructors include Citizenship, Nutrition Arts & Crafts, Auto Mechanics, and even Security Guard Certifications.

“We admire these parents. They’re here trying to educate themselves and better their life,” said PSJA Parent Site Manager Jonas Escalante. “Our Parental Engagement Program is here to advise, guide, and support them in order to help them to achieve their educational goals because they are part of the PSJA Family.”

In addition to improving their quality of life, by continuing their education, parents also inspire their children and become their role models.

“When parents study and learn they send a very strong message to their children that it’s never too late to learn,” said Figueroa-Muñoz.