Written in collaboration with Para Los Niños de Highline
Founded by and for immigrant parents in 2003, Para Los Niños de Highline (For the Children of Highline) brings together South King County Latino families to transform our communities and schools to create academic and life success for every Latino student.
At Para Los Niños (PLN), we are experts in our community’s challenges and strengths. PLN was founded by Latino immigrant parents as a positive response to the problems our families face in the education system. As immigrants, we took great risks to provide opportunity for our children. We were tired of watching from the sidelines as our Latino students fell further and further behind. We were not engaged by the schools; our language and cultural heritage were not incorporated into after school programming; and we had no voice in the education system. When the reality did not live up to our hopes, we came together and formed PLN to close the achievement gap for our children and youth.
Now, sixteen years later, PLN leads four unique programs developed by and for Latino families in direct response to the needs of our community. Our bilingual after school program, free summer programs, parent leadership classes, and partnerships with Highline Public Schools and Highline College support Latino youth to succeed academically. We train and empower Latino parents to engage with their children’s education and to advance their own English language learning in the process. We are a bilingual and bicultural organization that uplifts our community’s language, culture and heritage in all that we do.
PLN has been part of NAC’s United Way Racial Equity Cohort since 2015. This cohort uses training and individualized coaching and technical assistance to strengthen community organizations. When asked about the work done together, PLN said:
NAC has supported us in our grassroots fundraising efforts in the last three GiveBIG campaigns. We went from fundraising $2,300 in 2015 to $8,100 this year with their support. More than three times our initial amount. And, we were able to unlock match funding to double our community fundraising efforts! The support NAC gave us in strategizing, planning, coaching, and following up with our three campaigns was essential for our success.
One of the most amazing and meaningful outcomes from our work together has been building relationships in our community. Our program participants have been shinning for their efforts as fundraisers and are leading us with their energy and enthusiasm to continue to build a brighter future for our children and families. It has been inspiring to see the rest of our supporters and friends join in this solidarity.
The partnership between NAC and PLN continues to be vibrant even as their time in the cohort comes to an end. NAC has been grateful for the opportunity to be inspired by their work and honored to be considered part of the incredible growth.
Find more information on the Para Los Niños de Highline website and Facebook page.