LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to thousands of parents from across the country, Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors today released a video to address the concerns of immigrant parents worried about the current political climate, and looking for advice on how to help their children cope with bullies. BuzzFeed news reports bullying toward Latino and Middle Eastern children has been reported across 26 states. Latino, Middle Eastern, African American and Jewish students have been especially targeted.
“At the start of the year we were inundated with calls from concerned parents who were desperate for information on how to navigate current anti-immigrant policies, what to do should they come in to contact with officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and how to keep their families safe,” said Sandra Gutierrez, founder and national director for Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors. The video demonstrates and provides insight for parents on how to effectively communicate with their children on topics that are particularly difficult to tackle. It models interactions between parent and child and shows them how to respond, and comfort a child who faces the stress of bullying, and potential family separation. Using the familiar dicho “Better safe than sorry” (“Mas vale prevenir que lamentar”), it also encourages parents to develop their own plan to provide for the care and well being of their child in the event of an emergency.
Intangible Productions and Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors developed the video in conjunction with experts on family engagement, early childhood development and immigration policy. “We were alarmed at the number of parents who said their children were being bullied at school,” said Sandra Gutierrez. She continued, “It’s our greatest hope that this video lets parents know they are not alone, their contributions to this great nation are valued, and that their children have great promise.” The video is available on the organization’s website at: http://ap-od.org/resources?s=immigration, along with links to information and resources for immigrant parents. There are versions with subtitles in English and Spanish for bilingual and hearing impaired families.
The video will be distributed free of charge to social service providers, immigrant rights organizations, child care providers, faith-based organizations, and early education programs. The organization hopes to reduce the stigma faced by many immigrants, particularly in parts of the country where resources are scarce. It may also serve as a powerful tool for service providers to facilitate a broader dialogue on issues that are the cause of daily stress for many families.
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors is the nation’s first evidence-based comprehensive training program developed by and for Latino parents with children ages 0-5. Parent input informs the curriculum, which uses the “popular education” approach to engage them in lessons that reflect the culture of the target audience. Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors is active in 324 cities throughout the U.S.