School Readiness Program

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EUGENE, Ore.– Latino youth currently comprise more than one fifth of the US youth population. Yet this sizeable group of the nation’s future adults lags alarmingly behind Non-Latino youth in academic achievement and high school graduation rates.

“Our main concern nationwide is the lack of achievement by Latinos and we want a way to fix that”, said IRIS Educational Media Research Associate.

Researchers at Iris Educational Media in Eugene are creating a training program called Padres Preparados (Prepared Parents). It’s an interactive video that will assist parents in teaching school readiness skills to their preschool aged children.

“Pre-literacy skills, emotional regulation, problem solving, skills that will help any kid entering school for the first time. It’s so critical that parents have a strong involvement in their children’s education at a very early age,” said IRIS Video Director Alex Marquez.

National Institute for Health gave IRIS a grant to develop and test the program, after the pilot program proved to be a success in Woodburn, Oregon.

“The data showed that actually the parents had better communication and more practice with their children at home,” said Concepcion.

Now researchers are reaching out to the Latino community here in Lane County for this new expanded phase of the study. They are also looking for Spanish speaking actors to be in the videos and connect with groups that serve the Latino community. They will deliver the videos to 150 Latino families through Headstart Centers in 2015.

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