Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Currently most Latino parents lack a sense of empowerment due to various factors such as poverty, language barriers, educational level, and access to resources (Delgado-Gaitan 1990, Freire & Macedo 1987). This study looks into how the participants of the Family Literacy Project perceive the program impacting their lives and sense of empowerment. The previous literature on Latino parents stressed the obstacles that influence Latino parent empowerment are school culture, lack of parent's knowledge of school, and schools' ignorance of Latino family strengths (Ada 2003, Delgado-Gaitan 2004). Latino literacy programs were found to increase parents' critical awareness, skill building, and confidence, helping them overcome some of these obstacles. Methods consisted of action researcher observations, interviews with the parents and weekly course feedback questionnaires. The Shepard and Rose (1995) hierarchy of empowerment model was used to analyze the data on Latino parent empowerment. This model was used to look at how parents demonstrated the four level of empowerment; basic communication, home improvement, volunteering, and advocacy. This study found that the participants met the first three levels, but could not provide evidence of the fourth level. It was also found that having parents use Ada's (2003) four phases of literacy methodology; descriptive, personal, critical and creative helped parents better understand the socio-cultural issues that influenced their lives. The researcher saw a need to improve her own practice as a facilitator through acquiring more knowledge on the Mexican culture, learning more academic Spanish and managing class time more effectively.


Thesis (M.A.) Teacher Education Department