AVANCE received the award along with Joan Ganz Cooney, Sesame Workshop and the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers. The awards are given to individuals or agencies that have created evidence-based research and innovative programs, which served as longtime models for improving education, encouraging hope in communities and strengthening at-risk communities.
The Simmons School established the Luminary Award in 2009 to recognize individuals and organizations that have invested large amounts of time and resources into education as a tool of empowerment.
AVANCE is a non-profit that provides a Parent-Child Education Program to predominantly low income Hispanic families. The program aids parents in becoming actively involved with their children's development and is a model for parent-child outreach programs across the nation.
"It was a night filled with inspiring highlights of all three Luminary Awardees educational programs. The proudest moment, however, was when one of our own AVANCE parent graduates, Mildred Garcia, shared her experience in the Parent-Child Education Program," explained Dr. Glendelia Zavala, AVANCE Chief Program Officer, "It brought tears to many attendees who went up to Mildred after the program was over to congratulate her."
In an emotional testimony, Mildred shared with the audience about being the first generation in her family to attend college and how AVANCE saved her family, "I cannot imagine where my family would be now, because our previous past was on a completely opposite path. Thank you AVANCE for impacting my family's future."
Olga Llamas Rodriguez, Vice Chair of the AVANCE National Board of Directors, accepted the Luminary Award. Rodriguez said the AVANCE program works because it educates both the parent and child. Everyday our educators work tirelessly and it is very gratifying to know their hard work is being recognized. I share this recognition with them and the thousands of families we serve. I especially want to share this award with our Dallas Chapter; with AVANCE-Dallas Former Executive Director, Lisa Olgesby; her staff and the Dallas Board of Directors. This recognition would not have been possible without their tireless efforts," said Rodriguez, "We will cherish this recognition from the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU as it exemplifies the importance of what AVANCE does."
AVANCE is one of the oldest, largest and most distinguished parenting/early education programs in the country. Since 1973, AVANCE has continued to provide innovative education and family support services to predominately Hispanic families in underprivileged communities. Dedicated to promoting school readiness and supporting family engagement, AVANCE proudly serves as the national model and best practice of early childhood education for parents, teachers, the scientific community and general public. For more information, please visit http://www.avance.org/
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.
Children’s educational television was a new concept in 1968 when the Children’s Television Workshop created “Sesame Street,” a television show designed to help children prepare for school. The program now teaches children throughout the world, most recently with a new presence in Afghanistan.
The Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Services has served Dallas children since 1920, opening its first camp for orphans in 1921. Since then the organization has provided residential and community programs specializing in education and therapeutic services to at-risk children and their families. The club in 1997 opened the J. Erik Jonsson Community School, a researched-based laboratory school for at-risk children in Oak Cliff.
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Unlocking America’s potential by strengthening families in at-risk communities through effective parent education and support programs. AVANCE is one of the odlest and most distingusished parenting-early chilhood programs in the the country.