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AISD Invites Community to Feria Para Aprender; Introduces Language Program for Parents

Austin, TX—Austin ISD's Department of Public Relations and Multicultural Outreach invites the community to attend the sixth annual Feria Para Aprender, a Spanish-language education fair that is expected to draw more than 10,000 parents and children. The Feria is designed to help Spanish-speaking parents become key leaders of their children's academic success. In AISD, three out of five students are Hispanic (60 percent) and at least 24,000 students speak Spanish at home.

AISD's Department of Public Relations and Multicultural Outreach will introduce families to Maestro en casa, a practical and simple English-language learning and life skills program to assist Spanish-dominant parents. The district and the Mexican Americans Thinking Together (MATT) foundation will provide 1,000 free packets of six booklets and one CD that provide basic English lessons that help adult learners navigate common situations and systems, allowing them to interact at a higher level in their daily activities.

Who: AISD administrators, teachers, educational professionals and families.

What: More than 100 exhibits with more than 50 organizations and agencies, including colleges, universities, nonprofit groups and scholarship programs.

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

9:30 a.m. – Press briefing with Congressman Lloyd Doggett and

E3 Alliance CEO Susan Dawson

9:55 a.m. – Ribbon-cutting ceremony

Where: North Austin Event Center, 10601 N. Lamar

Background: Entering its sixth year as the nation's largest Spanish-language dominant educational event, the Feria expanded into a national effort in 2011. In preparation for the Austin Feria, volunteers have been trained to better engage Spanish-speaking parents to increase their involvement in their child's education.

At this year's Feria, about 80,000 square feet of space will be devoted to hands-on, interactive and "how-to" activities that lead families through the educational pathway from pre-kindergarten to college and career. Highlights include:

Career Pods focused on healthcare, teaching, digital media and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) staffed with mentors and professionalsExpanded STEM areas with hands-on activities to inspire children to become the problem solvers of tomorrowNew Teen and Anti Bully Zones offering resources to parentsA photo visualization area where every child poses for a photo, wearing a cap and gown and professional attireMock, bilingual education and dual-language classroomsHands-on science and technology activities such as robotics, gaming and medical demonstrationsA Commitment Zone where parents and students articulate and illustrate their educational aspirations.