El Manual De Los Padres
Las Manos Auxiliares Que Forman El Mañana
One of my projects was to create a Spanish Parent Handbook. When I arrived at my job they only had an English version. I arrived at my job in October. By the end of the year I had my first Spanish Parent Handbook completed and ready for distribution. Most of the children had been in school since July. I made sure there were copies in each classroom and where we kept family resources. When we had a new child sign up, the parents also received a handbook in English or Spanish.
The project was a success because I did most of it at home on my own time. I was not happy with the fact that roughly 30% of our families had no idea what the rules and policies were much less where to find resources if they needed them.
Each year the parent handbook is updated. Some years had more updates than others that needed to be translated. I started asking for updates in February. We had one school that was year-round. School let out in June and started back the first week after the 4th of July. I needed to have the handbook done, preferably by May 31. From February to the end of June, I was singing children up for the new school year to begin in July.
Although I did not need help in the translation aspect of the document, I did need the co-operation of the “management staff”. I asked the most important questions . . . When woud they know their information and when could they get it to me? The only thing I asked in return was for a one month deadline. I really needed to have their information ASAP so I could translate it at work and not on my own time. I did not get paid for my time and it took away time from my own family.
Each year was difficult. One person in particular was on the ball and always had her information UTD and color coded for me. It was important that I know what was to be deleted (red) and what was new (blue). This was a big help. The first year she color coded for me was the most difficult year. Folks kept making changes and I had to keep up with two translations plus the new translation I was working on. It was quite maddening close to the end.
It would have been great if we could have agreed on the deadline and stuck to it. Although I had asked for a specific deadline, no one really cared enough or respected the project enough to maintain a deadline. The reason for starting so early in the year was for the folks who dragged their collective rears – the same ones who could not keep to the deadline.
The positive side was that I could work on it little by little and not interfere too much with my day to day duties. The negative side was having to ask for extra time after work to finish because all of a sudden I had to meet their “deadline”.
The most gratifying aspect of the project was that my Hispanic families finally had a handbook to refer to if they had any questions. I received several “gracias” from my families. It helped them to feel more of a part of their child’s school and their education.