Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors (AP) is the nation's first evidence-based parent leadership training program designed by and for Latino parents with children ages 0-5. Our two-generation approach builds parent leadership skills and knowledge to promote family wellbeing and positive outcomes for children.
Since its inception in 2007, AP has trained over 1,500 facilitators in more than 400 family-serving organizations and has provided its curriculum to over 80,000 parents/families in more than 300 cities across the country. Two independent evaluations underscore the positive impact of the AP program. A 2012 UC Berkeley study found that parents made significant gains in their knowledge about early childhood development, language and literacy, school preparation, and confidence in parenting and advocacy skills. In 2014, Child Trends released the report of a random control study of AP. The results confirm that participating parents demonstrated significant growth in parenting practices that promote school readiness.
At Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, we honor parents’ strengths. Parents are among our country's unsung heroes. They shoulder the most important responsibility of all—raising our beloved country’s future generations. The parenting journey is rewarding, often challenging, and lasts a lifetime. We believe parents as leaders of their families are powerful agents of change in the lives of their children as well as their community. We believe that the “achievement gap” is more aptly termed an “opportunity gap” because it stems from unequal access to critical opportunities that are essential for healthy early childhood development and community well-being.
To that end, AP provides families with information, resources and activities they can use on a daily basis to support their children’s healthy development and quality education. The bi-lingual AP curriculum relies on parent input and “popular education” to take the research off the shelf and make it accessible to parents. The ten sessions emphasize interactive learning and incorporate familiar sayings, music and activities into a warm and welcoming learning experience. The curriculum promotes parent leadership, engagement and advocacy by building parenting knowledge and skills, school engagement practices, and community activism by parents on behalf of their children and families. Parents gain an understanding of child brain development, key aspects of early childhood development, bilingualism, attendance, socio-emotional development, and healthy eating and exercise. They receive vital information about the different types of schools in their communities. The program also provides parents with critical data on the education, economic and health status of children and adults in their communities, and how they can change that trajectory for their own children. Armed with new knowledge and local data, parents become advocates for their children and strong voices on behalf of children and families in their communities.