American Dream Academy wins community engagement award
An Arizona State University program that helps parents transform their children's educational experience has won the regional 2009 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award and is a finalist for the national award.
The American Dream Academy helps parents in low-income, disadvantaged areas learn how to transform their children's educational experience. It is the signature program of the Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at ASU's College of Public Programs on the Downtown Phoenix campus.
The program has "graduated" more than 7,000 parents of students attending 41 different schools, and indirectly impacted more than 24,000 low-income, minority youth throughout the greater Phoenix region since the program began three years ago.
Established in 2006, the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award recognizes the outreach and engagement partnerships of four-year public universities. The award program seeks to identify colleges and universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement functions to become even more sympathetically and productively involved with their communities.
"This award recognizes an extraordinary partnership between ASU and the Phoenix K-12 educational community" says Raul Yzaguirre, Presidential Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Center for Community Development and Civil Rights. "The program relies on collaborations with area school districts, as well as community leaders and community service organizations to operate and be successful."
Parents of K-12 students receive training through the nine-week program that creates a community where parents and teachers collaborate to improve each child's educational environment, both at home and at school, so that all children can achieve their greatest academic potential.
With a focus on retention, graduation and academic success, the American Dream Academy instills an understanding of the value of attaining an education, and can offer a pathway out of poverty for many people.
The American Dream Academy aims to improve parent/child relationships; reduce dropout rates and ensure high school graduation; improve classroom performance; and put children on a track to attend and be successful in a college or university and earn a diploma.
The award is named for C. Peter Magrath, who served as president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities from 1992-2005. Made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Magrath Award includes $20,000 and a trophy. The regional outreach award is $6,000.
The ASU Center for Community Development and Civil Rights works to build bridges between ASU and the community to address problems, share knowledge and act as a catalyst for transformation. Its programs are designed to strengthen low-income, marginalized populations and help them become knowledgeable in education, finance, health care, and the basics of housing, transportation and local ordinances. For information about the Center, visit http://cdcr.asu.edu.