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Parents and families need to be in contact with their children’s school and to understand the school system in order to make an impact on education policies, practices, and decisions. Portland Empowered’s Shared Space Cafés disrupt the usual power dynamic from one in which schools present one-way information to parents to one in which parents and schools are in dialogue about education and the changes required.
With Shared Space Cafés, parents plan, design, lead, and facilitate conversations in their native languages in small groups that include both other parents and school staff. Recruitment is typically face-to-face and person-to-person, reflecting the principles in our Parent & Family Engagement Manifesto.
Interpretation is typically provided primarily for school staff to allow them to understand non English conversations. PE Shared Space Cafés are important forums for Portland Empowered staff and organizers to hear concerns and dreams of parents and families when it comes to education.