The School Zone: News


Families and students at Pine Shadows Elementary (PSE) in Spring Branch ISD have been learning together thanks to a program provided by district partner, Santa Maria Hostel

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is series of virtual sessions, in Spanish, focused on parenting, life and family skills. Videos, lively discussions among families in the class and engaging activities for parents to do with their children at home are components of each lesson. 

Session topics include:    
•    Noticing and Complimenting the Good Daily
•    Problem Solving and Win-Win Negotiation
•    Choosing Good Friends and Monitoring Kids’ Activities

A small group of families participated in the SFP program last year in person at Pine Shadows. Organizers of this year’s course find that the online delivery model, offered during the day and in the evening, makes it much more accessible for Pine Shadows families to participate in the classes. 

Currently 18 PSE families are engaged in the 10-week course facilitated by Luz Daris Mosquera and Tiffany Canales from Santa Maria Hostel. PSE Parent Liaison, Luisa Rodrigues, organizes the family participation in the course.

“Children and parents have been actively participating,” said Mosquera. “They are not just listening. They are really engaged and practicing skills at home.”

One of the class activities was for parents and their children to create a “jar of rewards” together. The purpose of the jar is to recognize and collect examples of good behavior. 

Another example of a class project is for families to make a family tree. On the tree, each person expresses something positive to each other to visually represent the family’s strengths.

Parent Yuridia Yepiz, her husband and three children are participating in the Strengthening Families Program. Ms. Yepiz states, “We have some extraordinary teachers who guide us and resolve many of our doubts and experiences as parents.” 

Collaborations for success

The mission of Santa Maria Hostel is to empower women and their families to lead healthy, successful, productive and self-fulfilling lives. 

“At the end of the program, we expect that all families improve bonding, set healthy boundaries and enhance relationships between each family member,” said Mosquera. “Those skills can prevent the use of drugs and alcohol and contribute to raising happy, and socially productive children.”

In SBISD, the Family Education, Engagement and Empowerment (Family E3) framework affirms that partnerships between schools and families contribute to the success of Every Child. 

Thanks to the relationships Rodrigues has built with families at Pine Shadows, the SFP program is equipping them to support their children’s accomplishments in and out of school. 

Submitted by Becky Wuerth, SBISD Communication

  • FamilyE3
  • PartnerStory