Mercy College Parent Center opens

Mercy College is getting parents from all across the borough – whether they’re students there or not – involved in their children’s education.

The college’s Department of Education joined with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on its campus at the Hutchinson Metro Center on Thursday, September 27 to officially open The Bronx Parent Center, a new program and space to teach parents the skills that classroom teachers use to educate kids so that they can help give their own children get a leg up.

The program was designed by Mercy’s education department faculty for parents to support their children’s education through workshops, resources, and leadership development.

“The new program will help empower parents and provide them with the knowledge and the skills to support their children’s educational experience,” said Diaz, at a ribbon cutter for the new lab, for which he provided funding.

The program will empower parents as they interact with teachers and policy makers, said Diaz, who provided funding for the cendter.

He was joined by Mercy College president Kimberly Cline, who called the center “a culmination of a dream.”

School of Education dean Alfred Posamentier called it an example “for the rest of the region to follow, since we strongly believe that parents are the most neglected part of the ‘education equation.’”

The center will offer parents monthy workshops on topics including managing problem behavior, strategies to support special needs kids, helping with math, read-aloud strategies, parent leadership, and hands-on technology. It will so free of much educational jargon, said program director Aramina Vega Ferrer.

“We are going to talk plainly to parents, but we are going to engage them in strategies that teachers use in the classroom – we are bringing those strageies to them,” said Ferrer. “We are going to model them, have them practice it, and then we are going to observe them doing some of these things with their own children.”

The program’s seminars and study groups will be focusing on three C’s – consistant, coherent, and comprehensive, said Ferrer.

Parents attending the opening of the center seemed enthusiastic and ready to get started.

Nordia Haughton, 37, from Fordham, said she went to school in another country and wants to help help her two children using methods they will be familiar with from their school – P.S. 54.

For Adriana Trujuillo, whose son, Erik Vera, 10, attends P.S. 205, it is the idea of being a help to him go further with his education.

“It helps,” she said, “because you understand what he is doing in school, and what is happening in his education, in order to help him.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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