Juntos (Together for a Better Education)

Juntos brings together Latino parents and youth (focus on middle school),school staff, and community partners in a series of interactive workshops to help youth succeed in school and explore paths to higher education.

 Together for A Better EducationJuntos (pronounced: who-n-tos) is designed for English or Spanish-speaking parents and their teens. The program helps parents and youth gain knowledge, skills and resources to:

  • help 8th-12th grade youth successfully complete high school, and
  • work together to gain access to college.

Topics

  • Making education a family goal
  • Family and school communication
  • Requirements for graduation
  • Financing higher education
  • Applying for college
  • Creating an action plan

A key factor associated with school success is parent involvement (Rumberger, et al., 1990) and parental academic support (Alfaro, et al., 2006). Juntos promotes these factors and helps parents and youth realize the long-term benefits of graduating from high school and participating in higher education. Watch the Juntos overview to learn more about the program in Iowa.

Research tells us

Students who do not complete high school present a significant cost to the state of Iowa. They will:

  • cost the state $87 million in reduced state tax revenues over their lifetime
  • cost the state over $1.8 million per year in additional welfare costs
  • face higher unemployment, have increased health issues, and in Iowa are incarcerated at a rate10 times greater than that of the cohort population (Veale, 2009)

Latinos in Iowa

  • The Latino population is expected to increase from 162,894 (5.3 % of the state’s total population) in 2012 to 436,138 in 2040 (12.7% of the state’s total population).
  • The 2011-2012 annual high school dropout rate for Latinos was 5.82% compared to 3.2% for all students.

Results within the first year

After participating in Juntos, parents:

  • felt more confident working with their child’s school
  • increased monitoring of their youth’s homework
  • improved communication with their youth about school, college or other future plans

Are you interested in helping students succeed in school and increasing the number of Latino youth going to college?  Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers facilitator training to prepare individuals to implement Juntos in their community.

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