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School District Of Philadelphia Creates 'Parent University' To Help Adults Understand Kids' Homework

Parents Homework

First Posted: 04/11/11 04:47 PM ET Updated: 06/11/11 06:12 AM ET

Not all families have access to resources within modern schools. Although computers, calculators and other devices may be familiar to students, some parents are not adequately trained to help guide their children through assignments or homework.

CNN reports that the School District of Philadelphia started a special set of classes specifically for families of enrolled students. At Parent University, grown-ups are able to learn skills needed to help their children succeed, from mathematics refresher classes to computer training -- all given free of charge.

Superintendent Arlene Ackerman told CNN that the education gap hits low-income families especially hard because they lack certain opportunities.

"Not every parent has a computer. Not every parent has access to the resources that many middle-class families have."

Through Parent University, families can familiarize themselves with the resources students have access to and become trained to provide support.

The benefits go beyond just helping children with their homework. Parent University also gives training in life skills, like character development and financial literacy, to help families learn tools that they can use in day-to-day life and encourage their children to well-rounded success.

Jose Ramirez, father of two middle school students, immigrated from El Salvador later in life and often felt unprepared or inadequate because of a "culture barrier" he felt in his new country. After classes at Parent University, however, he learned enough to not only care for his sons but make life changes that his family could see. His son, Nick, told CNN:

"He seems more confident in doing things than he was before."

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Filed by Carly Gillis  |