Sept. 20, 2019 – Queens, NEW YORK
By NYC Kids RISE
On August 28th, the Parents in Action committee at Make the Road NY had their 9th back-to-school event in Queens. During the event, families received school supplies, information on Make the Road NY’s services and mini-workshops on related topics. Over 400 families attended this annual block party. Marilyn Mendoza, Parents in Action committee coordinator, put Spanish-language information about the Save for College Program into every backpack that was given to Pre-K through 2nd grade families. They logged the school of every family that attended the event, identified families in District 30 and gave them appointment cards with Marilyn’s information so that they could get support activating their scholarship accounts. The parent leaders trained in the Save for College Program this summer then followed up by calling the families.
Given this year’s focus on saving early for college, we asked Marilyn some questions about why this was important to share with Make the Road NY members:
Education is a right… how does that inspire you with organizing the back-to-school event?
I truly believe in free education which should include free supplies. Families should not have to spend so much money on school supplies. With this event I hope to raise awareness around the need to fully fund our public schools. Immigrant parents work a lot and shouldn’t be burdened with extra expenses.
How are families thinking about education right now and for the future?
Our families are not thinking about education and the future of their families because at the moment they are uncertain about what the future holds. For many of our immigrant families the fear of deportation and separation loom over their heads everyday. Bringing the Save for College Program into our spaces allow parents to stop thinking of the day to day but rather start thinking about the future and the possibilities it holds for their children.
What is the message you hoped inspired families with the event?
There is power in community and it does take a village to raise a child.
Thanks to the support of Citi Community Development, Make the Road New York is part of a learning community of organizations across School District 30 using the Save for College Program as a tool to support families.