Projects, Grants & Contracts

Madres para Niños


The Madres para Niños program seeks to provide Latina mothers the opportunity to further enhance their knowledge and skills so that they may better navigate their children’s school entry process and to support their children's educational attainment, especially in the critical areas of language and literacy.
This intervention focuses on narrowing the achievement gap for young Latino immigrant children by supporting and educating their mothers in a collaborative and problem-solving focused group.

Expected outcomes include: a) an increase in knowledge and skill in promoting their child’s language and literacy development, b) an increased understanding and familiarity with entry into the local school system, c) an increased skill level, knowledge, and sense of self-efficacy to parent and support their children, and d) an improved ability to acquire or identify resources and to engage in proactive problem-solving around educational issues.

A pilot group was completed in May 2009, with the following outcomes:

  • Parents reported they learned a great deal about the expectations of local schools for incoming students and associated parental responsibilities.
  • Parents reported that they learned about how to encourage their children to read, and how to ask questions and talk to their children about what they are reading so that they could gauge comprehension. 
  • Parents reported learning that household items can be used to teach children, such as pointing out the shapes of items around the house.
  • Parents reported they have learned how important it is to spend engaged learning time with their children.  Several parents used the example of being involved in the creation of a book with their children as a concrete example of this engaged process. In another example, several parents went on a joint trip to the public library to get library cards so that they would have the resources to spend more engaged time in literacy activities with their children.
  • Parents reported that they would tell potential members of future MpN groups that it was very useful and that “They should go and participate in the group because they will learn a lot of things that will help their children.”

Over the next two years, 22 more intervention/control groups will be conducted, serving a total of 180-220 parents and impacting an equal number of preschool children.

Principal Investigator:

Steve Knotek

Funding Dates:


Funding Source(s):

Foundation for Child Development; Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill

State(s) Served:

North Carolina

N.C. Counties/Schools Served:
Chatham, Hartnett, Lee, Orange