Families come to PIQE in search of a healthy and happy life for their children, filled with opportunity for success. Above all things, they hope to ensure a better, if not brighter future for their family. It is because many English learners, predominantly children of color, are overlooked, that parents turn to PIQE for help. We are a bridge to a new tomorrow.

Central Valley is one of the fastest growing regions in the state of California. From Bakersfield to Redding, it is approximately 450 miles long. And from Sierra, Nevada to the Coast Ranges, it is 60 miles wide. Comprised of more than 40 percent of the state’s geography, it yields a sizeable percentage of the produce grown in the U.S. This farming community, where the sun shines 300 days of the year, is home to nearly 20 percent of California’s school-aged youth. A majority of these children are long-term English learners, economically disadvantaged, lacking reliable internet/wi-fi, and receiving disparate educational outcomes. 

A recent story reported by EdSource, illustrates these disparate outcomes, illuminating one Central Valley student’s silent aspirations. “Rafael thought about community college but felt like it would have just encouraged him to go into a trade that would exact a similar toll on him. University was his chance at a different life. But it was a dream he was afraid to say out loud in the Central Valley, where less than 15 percent of adults over 25 earn a bachelor’s degree. He had gotten his hopes up before… It was better to keep his hopes hushed. That way, if it didn’t work out, he wouldn’t disappoint his family or himself.” 

“We hope to challenge them enough to move courageously toward a better and brighter future.”

As mothers, fathers, grandparents, parent leaders, advocates, and community-based organizations, we are here to elevate the voices of children. We are transforming the social norm and uplifting our community. We’re here to provide knowledge, tools, and resources to parents, so their children (and their children’s children) enjoy a safe and equitable educational experience. This includes a framework of outreach that holistically supports the student. 

We create a space that encourages, empowers, and frees everyone to advocate for change—parents and children alike. With the help of our partners, sponsors, and funders, we aim to provide children a healthy, supportive, and loving environment. At the same time, we hope to challenge them enough to move courageously toward a better and brighter future.  

According to a 2018 longitudinal study conducted by San Diego State University, students whose parents participated in PIQE’s Parent Engagement Program graduated from high school at a higher rate than peers with similar backgrounds—96% compared to 80% reported by California Department of Education. These same students are enrolling in college or university at a higher rate—70% compared to 40% reported by the CDE. We are, indeed, a bridge to a new tomorrow. 

For more information, contact Sade Williams, Community Engagement Specialist, at 559.498.9748 or swilliams@piqe.org.