A mother’s plea to save ParentSmart

Celena and Emily

“Greetings to all the Honorable Members of the Board y Mme. Superintendent, as well as my great thanks for making possible the development of my daughter Emily through the ParentSmart* program, to which I almost owe my life.

“Four years ago God gave me the opportunity to arrive at this program with my child who was almost 4 years old and did not say one word. There were a million possible diagnoses including autism or mental retardation. ParentSmart made it possible not just that Emily speak, but that there be an early diagnosis of her developmental problem, so now she is on a good path.

“As a mother I have spent many sleepless nights trying to understand what was wrong with my daughter and how could I help her. I worried how she would be able to live on her own once I was not here to help her; how she could care for herself. All of the teachers at ParentSmart helped to diagnose her problems, teach me how to deal with her, how to help her in school and how to be a good mother to her. How to be the proudest mother in the world to my little one even though she has a small problem.

“I ask you please to continue the ParentSmart program. This program forms a bond between children and school, school and parents, parents and community, Americans and Hispanics.

“You are our only resource we have in a place where we don’t even know the language. You are the only solution we Hispanic parents have. May God bless you and influence your decision.”

Rock Hill, SC

*ParentSmart offers Parents as Teachers home visiting services.