Mr. Garcia has a master's degree in education and has been involved in education for 30 years, beginning with the Follow Through program in the early 70's. This program provided a solid foundation for his belief that parent involvement is one of the keys to student success. His work supported the research at that time, which showed that the more involved parents were in a child's education, the higher the child's aspirations were for success. This research was conducted among white, middle-class families.
Recognizing the potential and need for this research among Latino families, Mr. Garcia founded the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition (CSPC) in 1980 for the purpose of providing information to Latino parents on education issues affecting their children. Today, the Coalition provides parents with information to help make sound decisions concerning their children. Through the CSPC, workshops and in-service activities are provided for parents via an annual statewide conference.
Currently, Mr. Garcia is the principal of a charter middle school that is committed to authentic learning experiences for all enrolled children. Here, parent involvement is considered essential to the goal of producing literate and socially responsible students.