Empowering Parents

Program Description

The Empowering Parents Program with the English Skills Learning Center is designed to encourage immigrant and refugee parents to be involved in their children's education - from understanding a report card to reading with their children. We hope students engage with their children’s education, teachers, and PTA.

Program Overview of Curriculum and Goals


The curriculum focuses on vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. ESLC classes are based on communicative language teaching, which emphasizes communication as the ultimate goal of language learning. Because of this, the grammar is taught indirectly. We try to balance survival skill English with relevant parenting topics, such as reading a report card and understanding school attendance policies. 

Another core goal of the program is to encourage parents to read with their children. The Parents Engaged in Everyday Reading (PEER) component of the Empowering Parents classes supports this goal. Each PEER unit is centered on a children’s book and touches on vocabulary, grammar, reading strategies, and reading fluency. At some locations, there are independent PEER classes in addition to the Empowering Parents class, which allows parents the option of attending class four days a week for a total of six hours.



To increase opportunities for immigrant and refugee adults to develop secure, stable and appropriate parental relationships with their children in a safe and sustainable financial environment.

To increase connection to community and school through participation in regularly held ESL classes at the child’s elementary and secondary schools.

To increase involvement of families of students in programs, school-sponsored committees and community organizations that promote student success.

To encourage parents to read with their children and help them with school assignments. 

Demographic Information

The Empowering Parents program typically offers classes twice a week for ninety minutes at various schools throughout Salt Lake County. These classes are designed for parents, grandparents, or other adults who are actively involved in an elementary-age child’s daily life. The class times and days are set based on the needs of the community. Often classes are in the morning, right after parents drop their children off at school or in the evenings to accommodate working parents.