Casa Blanca F.A.C.E. Program brings families closer together with education

May 4, 2018


Christopher Lomahquahu

Gila River Indian News


A group of educators at one Community school are not only educating children, but parents as well. 

The Family and Child Education program at the Casa Blanca Community School is a one-stop shop of education, that engages with parents and children through a cycle of learning.  


F.A.C.E. Parent Educator Yakoot Begum said the programs goal is to build a system of families, that are thriving in their education. 


Begum said there are variables that affect the recruitment of parents into the program, mainly, time and transportation. 

She said, to mitigate those issues, like transportation, the parent educator will go out into the Community to do home-based teaching.  


The home-based program only takes an hour each week and includes some incentives for participation. 

Begum said, “We emphasize the home-based parent education program, because [we] want to form support systems.”


“I think there is a lack of understanding about the information and what the program offers them…its about supporting the early development of children,” she said. 


The F.A.C.E. program hones the skills of the parent and children, as they work together in their education. 


F.A.C.E. Program Coordinator and Adult Education Teacher Kenneth Young said they are fielding a new program that will offer high school diplomas for adults. 


“We are doing a program called the Penn Foster Online high school diploma, which is in its first year, as a pilot program,” said Young. 


The Penn Foster program, originally got its start with the U.S. Department of Labor Job Corps, and has made its way to nationally recognized programs, like the F.A.C.E. program.


Young said the Penn Foster program is in line with the F.A.C.E. program’s initiatives, because it prepares parents to obtain their GED or high school diploma.


“We are doing the high school program, where [here] they learn and earn high school credits,” said Young, “That’s not all, there is also a career component that maps out their interests.” 


He said the program offers academic coaches, that are available to help participants develop strategies to overcome their academic hurdles. 


For someone interested in the program, thinking they are too old to get their high school diploma, Young says, the oldest participant is 56 years old, which shows no matter how old you are, a high school diploma is within reach. 


The program prepares students on topics like English, math, science, and humanities, and also has provisions for them to prepare for college.


“The opportunity of communicating with people and completing their education is part of the journey to be in that leadership position in their community, where they can make a difference,” said Young. 


With a whole host of services provided at the CBCS F.A.C.E. program, the staff wants more participation from the parents to invest in their child’s education. 


“Literacy involves more than reading and includes writing and interacting with them during an important part of the day,” said Begum. 


She said the focus is to let parents know, that the program is not a burden, it’s not mandated, but an investment in something bigger, a child’s future.