In the cafeteria at Indian Peaks Elementary, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air as parents and guardians come together for the monthly Cafecito. Cafecitos, which translates to “little coffees” in Spanish, are parent meetings designed to provide families with essential resources and information about the school, school district, and community.
Blanca Perez, Family Liaison at Indian Peaks and the driving force behind Indian Peaks’ Cafecitos, describes them as a platform where parents are not only welcomed with open arms but also enriched with valuable information. “They are more than just coffee and conversation,” said Perez. “They’re a chance for parents to connect, learn, and be part of our school family.”
The format of Cafecitos is welcoming and inclusive. On the last Friday of the month, parents drop their students off at school and head to the cafeteria at 9:15 a.m. to enjoy coffee, a light breakfast, and guest speakers. Interpreters are also in attendance to ensure accessibility to both English and Spanish-speaking parents. Topics for the monthly Cafecitos revolve around resources that benefit families. “We aim to empower parents with knowledge they may not have had access to otherwise,” Perez explains.
Feedback from those who attend the Cafecitos has been overwhelmingly positive. “Parents have told us they feel welcome and enjoy being a part of our school,” said Perez. “They’re glad they can come into the school and build community with staff. They also appreciate the useful information provided every month.”
Karla Escarcega, a parent who regularly attends the Cafecitos, shared her thoughts, saying, “I like that I can get updates on what’s happening at Indian Peaks and stay informed about what my son and daughter are doing in school. Learning about available resources that I may not have known about otherwise has been extremely valuable. It’s also wonderful to have the opportunity to connect with other parents.”
Cafecitos have strengthened communication between parents and the school. According to Perez, parents feel more comfortable asking questions and expressing concerns and they aren’t waiting until conferences to connect with teachers or the front office.
To keep families informed about upcoming Cafecitos, Indian Peaks uses multiple communication channels, including email, text, and phone calls in both English and Spanish. Reminders are also shared in the school’s weekly newsletter.
When asked why parents and families should consider attending Cafecitos, Perez shared, “It’s a chance to build relationships, not only with other parents but also with staff members. It’s an opportunity to stay informed about what’s happening at school, in the school district, and in the community. There are countless resources available to our families, and Cafecitos shine a light on these opportunities.”
Perez’s favorite thing about Cafecitos is the connection it facilitates with parents. “Since most of our students ride the bus to school, we don’t often get to see or build relationships with parents on a daily basis,” she said. “Cafecitos create a space for parents to hear positive feedback about their children and learn what’s happening at school. It’s a truly enriching experience for everyone involved.”