December 16, 2008 11:02 ET

Parental Involvement Remains Focus of Dallas Area Initiative

ETS Supports Third Annual "Parents Step Ahead" Program

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - December 16, 2008) - The Texas-based "Parents Step Ahead" program celebrated the culmination of its third successful year promoting parental involvement in children's education with its annual gala and awards ceremony on Thursday, December 4, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Dallas. The event honored six parents who participated in the nonprofit organization's school-based parenting skills workshops during the year.

ETS, a founding sponsor of "Parents Step Ahead," acknowledges and applauds the program's recognition of the vital role parents play in children's academic achievement, a fact that is too often overlooked.

"'Parents Step Ahead' is important because it makes a real difference in the way parents view their role in their children's academic success and personal development," explains Eleanor Horne, vice president of ETS's Social Investment Fund. "Participating in this program reinforces ETS's commitment to help advance the quality of education for the children of Texas parents."

Horne also says that it was a privilege to present one of the six Parent of the Year awards to Mrs. Valdemar Sancen during the gala's awards ceremony.

Sancen was born and raised in the Mexican State of Guanajuato and moved to Fort Worth 16 years ago. She is the mother of two girls, and is a volunteer at T.A. Sims Elementary School in Fort Worth. She believes that if parents are involved in their children's school, it makes it easier for them to help their children at home. Her oldest daughter, Kimberly, has earned top scores in reading and mathematics on the TASK Test in the State of Texas.

The other 2008 Parent of the Year award recipients are Martha de la Mar, José Salvador, María de la Luz Flores, Martha A. Arias and Lydia Curiel.

Horne adds, "ETS is proud to partner with the 'Parents Step Ahead' program. This organization shares ETS's objectives to improve educational outcomes, with an emphasis on English-language learners, narrowing achievement gaps and helping students transition from one educational level to the next."

Founded by El Hispano News -- in cooperation with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), Garland Independent School District (GISD), Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) and various community organizations -- "Parents Step Ahead" prepares and educates parents to meet the challenges faced by today's youth. The program's mission is to recognize, educate, enable and empower parents to take a proactive role in the educational and personal development of their children.

The mission of El Hispano News is "to inform, to advocate and to empower the Hispanic community." With the majority of school students in Dallas, Garland and Fort Worth being Hispanic, the paper not only provides vital news and information, but equips readers with the necessary resources needed to achieve success in life.

For more information regarding the "Parents Step Ahead" program, please call 214-357-2186.

About ETS

At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English-language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually -- including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments -- in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

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