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What parents are saying about CPEO
What parents are saying about CPEO

“Many time, we as the parents think that we know what’s best for our children so we do it over and over again. Putting them down and not realizing it. For example, my child brought his report card home with all A’s and one B. I said to him, 'You should get all A’s, why a B? You need to get an A next time.' Learning about the GPA concept, now I understand and know how to read my child report card better. I never realize that my influence has so much impact on my child’s life. You are right, we are their role model and they are watching us and learning from us. I need to be more careful. Thank you to my facilitators, you guys have been so patient with us and teaching us so much. Thank you for having food each night. That was very thoughtful. Please tell the CPEO Coordinator that we appreciate it very much.” - Parent

“This is my first time to know that preparing my children to college is not as hard as I thought it would be. Now that I know about the opportunity out there for my child, I can be more prepared in advanced while they are still in the elementary grades. I wish that more Hmong parents would be involved and learned more about the opportunity for our children. Back in our country, we are all farmer, there were no opportunity for our people to attend school. We are lucky to be here in America. Living in America gives our children the equal opportunity to go to school at an early stage, and continue to attend higher education.”  - Parent

“I was impressed with CPEO last night, as well as the great facilitators! It's exciting to know that such a wonderful program exists! The environment was very relaxed which allowed for great conversations to take place and helped with budding relationships. I appreciated the focused curriculum and learned some extremely helpful tidbits that will help me to help ensure my children's success in Minneapolis Public Schools. Thank you very much for this opportunity!” - Parent

“I just wanted to say Thank you for the tour at the U of M. It had a huge impact on my son. It was all he could talk about. He was telling us the plan he will need to execute to make it there. Actually visiting made it REAL. We are just so thankful to have been given such a gift.”  - Parent

“Before the CPEO classes I was a TV addict and did very little to be involved in my children’s education. I had just assumed that was the school’s job. Since the class, I have completely changed my life and was able to break my addiction to soap operas thanks to CPEO.”  - Parent

“I just want to say THANK YOU for all the important information we have received in this class. I have a Freshman and a Senior at Washburn and I believe this class is good for both of them because my senior is doing all this college stuff now. College is so important for them to have a great future. I am so glad I signed up for this program even if we won't qualify for the scholarship. I will recommend this class to everyone. My daughter Eden and I are looking forward to visiting St. Kates next week. This is one of the schools she has applied to. (Keeping our fingers crossed.) Thank You again for EVERYTHING, even the dinner. It was very good and balanced.” - Parent

“I think the program was educational and it certainly helped me to get my children prepared for college. At the beginning of this year when my son entered high school as a ninth grader, I emailed all of his teachers to inform them that he would be going to college. If he was not doing what he should be doing, I needed to know. I left all of my contact information for them to get in touch with me - from my cell phone number to my email address to home number. And I also let my son know that he would not have a choice, he would be going to college. He asked me did I go to college. I said I didn’t but it was not too late and mom planned on going because I wanted to be a teacher. During the summer of 2008, I did what I needed to do to get myself ready for college in the fall. I started at the end of August. I took three classes my fist semester. My grades were two A’s and one B. The following semester, I took four classes for a total of 11 credits. I have not watched TV since January 13th. I did not know what was going on in the world because I had not seen the news. I stop going to movies. It was a sacrifice. I told my 23 year old son and his wife that they had to go to college, If I was going at my age, they needed to go so they could be self sufficient and not have to depend on me. Although it is a sacrifice, I am supporting them and myself in going to college. Working full time and being a full time mom and going to school is hard. But it has been well worth it!! I am so glad that Minneapolis Public Schools is offering CPEO. Some of us parents need to wake up and smell the coffee. Sometimes we have to do more than just talk - we have to 'do' too.  I had to get in school. Lucy Laney children are my children and I am not going anywhere.” - Kim Ambers, Parent

“The CPEO program (Connecting Parents to Educational Opportunities) has given us as parents the hope that every child who wants to attend a college or university can, regardless of their financial condition. Participating in the CPEO program has been far more rewarding than I could have ever anticipated. I have not only built a support base with other parents, but connected with district and school staff members who truly care about the success of our children. I have learned that we as parents need to be a leader in our children's education by not only being a positive presence in their lives, but by keeping ourselves connected to their schools. We need to take advantage of the wealth of information available to us on the Naviance website and ensure that our children are on the right path towards success. As an added bonus to participating in the CPEO program, every parent received scholarships for their child to attend the University of Minnesota or MCTC. This scholarship will help subsidize the cost of tuition. This is such a relief for us as parents who are worried about how we are going to be able to send our children to college as we continue to endure tough economic times. Thank you to all who have helped make this program a huge success!” - Marlene Harrison

“CPEO is a great program, and I would encourage all parents to enroll in it. In a nutshell, the program inspired me to help my kids 'shine at school' and to guide them toward college. Also, it is wonderful that the program provides child care, food and transportation for parents who participate. These are some of the things that usually hinder most parents from participating especially in poor neighborhoods. Come to find out, the program has a track record of success. More than 400,000 families in California, Arizona and Texas have completed the program since 1987. The U of MN and MCTC subsequently signed on as partners. That success was among the reasons I chose to enroll in the program. I learned quite a bit during the training sessions, but the following are the 'principle' things I took away from my training:

  • Parents are a child's 'first teachers.'
  • Even before enrolling their kids in preschool, parents should tell their children that they will help them reach their full academic potential.
  • If we can get parents more involved with teachers, administration and even with each other, it strengthens the schools as a whole.
  • If students don't have the help at home, then we're fighting an uphill battle.
  • Children see the world through their parent's eyes, as a parent one must not be cynical about their education. We must be encouraging and instill self-esteem. Tell them that post-secondary education is an 'expectation', not an 'exception', 'a maybe', or an 'I don't think so'.

In the words of Malcolm X – ‘Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.’ I just finished the class myself and I couldn't be more excited about the future of my kid's education. CPEO is a wonderful program. I do believe that it should be marketed a bit more because when I get done telling people about the program and its incentives, there is always the question of 'How can I get involved?' The district should expand the program to more schools next year.” - John Nyakoe-Nyasani

“The program is helping me to identify some of the skills I need. Because I am attending school to get my GED and also trying to prepare for college myself now. The program has also provided me ideas to work better with my children. It is helping me to deal better with children, especially when they are disrespectful. This program is very enjoyable and uplifting.” - Parent

“I am so grateful for this class. I’ve learned just how important it really is for my children to get good grades and why I need to advocate and be their voice. One main thing I’ve learned in this class is to be visual. Make sure the teachers know who you are and who your children are. They seem to get what they need more.” - Parent

“CPEO has been a great program for me. I have learned so many different things from the facilitators as well as some of the parents. I’ve learned different ways to help my children boost their confidence and how to make sure they are doing the best they can in school. How I can help my child improve in school and get college ready now. I learned how important it is to meet with my children’s teachers, be involved and how to have a successful parent-teacher conference. I believe that if this program was available for more schools and parents that there will be more children on the honor roll and wanting to go to school and less drop outs. I know I am a better parent because everything I learned from Connecting Parents to Educational Opportunities.” - Parent

“The CPEO program has been one of the best things we have done in the district in the last number of years. Our parents have increased their self-esteem, learned about the school system and how to better assist their children, how to advocate for their children, and how to be a real and functioning part of the school community. It is amazing what can be done in 7 short weeks. I am really excited about continuing the program.” - School Principal

“Parents don’t know all there is to know—especially when it comes to getting your child ready for college and getting it paid for.”

Jane Hamilton decided to join CPEO at South High School for two reasons: Her daughter, Rachael (9th grade), and her son, Graham (6th grade). “By going to CPEO, our kids can see that we have a vested interest,” she said. “They know their parents have gone to a class for 7 weeks simply to help them. It shows them we care deeply for their education.”

Before taking CPEO, Jane knew quite a bit about preparation for college, but she found she gained more insight into getting her daughter ready for college applications and scholarships. Her 9th grader has now started looking up available scholarships that she can use after graduation. “You have to make your child engaged in the process,” Jane said. “She needs to be the one looking for scholarships because there is a different kind of investment and commitment in the process and in their education.” She also enjoyed seeing her daughter attend the CPEO University of Minnesota Tour. “The tour was wonderful. I never pictured my daughter getting the chance to step on campus before she got ready to go there herself.”

Since completing CPEO, Jane has joined P.U.S.H. at South High (Parents United for South High) and she encourages each parent she meets to attend CPEO classes. “It’s kind of a no-brainer. You go, you get to engage with other parents and discuss how to enhance your child’s education, you talk about things that you love (your children) and they give you a free meal to boot!” - Jane Hamilton, Parent at South High School

“If you want to your kids to participate, then you will need to show them how rather than tell them. They see you do this and see how good it makes you feel— they will want to do the same.”

Michelle Jones completed CPEO at Bryn Mawr Elementary in February, 2012, where her son attends 3rd grade. Over seven weeks, Michelle participated in discussions and activities about study routines, self-esteem, and academic standards with other parents from the school. “I learned that you can teach your child about going to college at any age,” she said. “You always think that you actually prepare them in junior high, when you can start right now when they are really young.”

A mother of three, a banker, and an active member of her community, Michelle is passionate about the success of her children. After participating in CPEO, Michelle feels better prepared to help her son reach his goals. “CPEO has given me the tools I need to make sure I know how to guide my son in the college direction. I have more insight on the subject than I had before,” she said.

When asked why she chose to join CPEO at Bryn Mawr, she said: “I would do anything to better the life of my children, and I knew that the purpose of CPEO was to help me do that.” - Michelle Jones, Parent at Bryn Mawr Elementary