Realizing the American Dream Program Testimonials

RAD parent classes help build parent involvement for
student success at Kings Park Elementary School!



Kings Park Elementary School in Springfield, VA is in the Fairfax County, VA Public School District, one of the largest districts in the nation.
Dotty Lin, Principal of Kings Park Elementary, knows that research shows that when parents are engaged, student achievement is significantly impacted.

In order to meet Kings Park’s School Improvement Plan goals of closing the achievement gap between English Language Learners and their English proficient peers, Dotty said she implemented the Realizing the American Dream Program “to strengthen our learning community, both academically and socio-emotionally, by intentionally engaging the families of our students and educating them about their role in student success.”

Dotty recruited a parent liaison to conduct the 10-week after-school program in Spanish (with support of, and in collaboration with, the school counselors) in the hopes of helping parents be more involved in their child’s education that ultimately resulted in higher student achievement.

The program provided free parallel childcare by school-based instructional personnel and home school community-building and literacy ideas. This included fun math games and literacy activities, coupled with parent support tips on engaging their child in active reading. Children’s books were also given to families each week to build home libraries in English and Spanish while supporting literacy growth and parent/child interaction.

The program was a huge success! Dotty plans on implementing RAD at her school every year to help parents.


Here's what some recent graduates had to say about the RAD program: 

Parents realize their children can achieve the American Dream:
“We thought that by just sending our children to school and hearing them talk in English we were fulfilling our roles as responsible parents.  But boy were we wrong. From the beginning of the course, our facilitator opened our eyes.  She transmitted her joy, information and her desire for us to change our future and most of all, our children’s future in order to attain our American Dream.”
  Parents learn to be part of the team:
“We received the information and tools necessary to become an active part of our children’s education and dreams. We learned to become part of the effort and team of teachers to help educate our children.”
Working together our children can achieve academic success:
“We learned how to handle each academic step in our children’s education and how to work actively in the school especially to ensure communication in each class.  We understand the necessity of discipline and the importance of supporting the self esteem of our children, of spending time with them to plan the steps to the university, such as finding financial aid, and working together with our children to achieve academic success.”


Planning together for a better future through education:
“We were taught how to support our children, how to communicate with them and school officials, and how to plan together for a better future through education.”

Our role as parents in the academic success of our children:
“This program clearly showed us our role as parents in the academic success of our children, not only at the primary level but throughout college. We are their first teachers as they spend 85% of the time at home and only 15% of the time in school.”


Being an example of dedication and supporting our children:
“Personally it helped me to take my role as a father more seriously and to be a good example of dedication and to support our legacies. It was a blessing to have this advice because ignorance does not lead anywhere.”



The American Dream Academy at Arizona State University has already graduated thousands of parents from the Realizing the American Dream Program. Here are some photos of RAD in action: