Cooperative Extension Program Reaches Bilingual Audiences

August 8, 2017

County agents are closest to the people served by the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) at Prairie View A&M University. They provide services which are impactful for its county residents to sustain an appropriate quality of life. Washington County is leading the way when it comes to family matters for its residents who represent all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. With assistance from the bilingual CEP Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Program Specialist Jennifer Garza, the CEP FCS agent in Washington County, Mary Sanders, in partnership with the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, conducts educational workshops for bilingual audiences every month, primarily Spanish-speaking community members.
 
Jennifer Garza, a Spanish/English bi-linguist understands the importance of building a solid basis for bilingual education like Sander’s partnership in Washington County. Training WIC program participants in their native language improves a sense of belonging and increases parental involvement when teaching parenting styles. Garza’s parenting classes focus on three styles through discussions, videos, and handouts, educating the participants to bring ethnic and socioeconomic balance to the county. The three parenting styles from Garza’s discussion are the Dictator, the Doormat, and the Active Parent. The Dictator style of parenting believes the parent tells the child what to do and the child does it. For instance, children should be seen and not heard. The Doormat parent takes on the role of being friends, avoiding conflict, and allowing the child to do what he/she wants. The Active Parent teaches life lessons with logic, consequences, and discipline by creating stability. Active parenting helps reduce rebellious behaviors and build positive relationships.
 
With changes in society, learning which parenting style is most useful can assist parents with comprehensive strategies to empower them as successful parents. As a result, parents will raise productive children no matter the ethnic or socioeconomic challenge.

Jennifer Garza
Jennifer Garza
Program Specialist
(936) 261-5113
jegarza@pvamu.edu