Also during the meeting, trustees heard a report from Rola Bazzi-Gates summarizing the research the social worker did for her doctorate thesis.
Bazzi-Gates also was named the 2016 Michigan Social Worker of the Year. The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers will present the award next month.
For the doctorate she completed last year, Bazzi-Gates looked at the effect of Arab American parental involvement on children during their elementary years.
For her study, she interviewed 20 mothers about their involvement at their child’s school and in the child’s education at home, what resources they had to help them be involved and what barriers they faced.
She did not name the schools in her study to protect the privacy of the families, she said. The mothers were from Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq. Originally, she had hoped to talk to fathers too, but those interviews were too hard to schedule, she said.
Her research showed the Arab American community provided a strong network that helped mothers get involved by offering translation, transportation and other assistance.
The mothers faced familiar barriers with lack of transportation, language difficulties and scheduling conflicts, such has having a baby at home that prevented them from attending school events.
Katie Hetrick covers Dearborn Public Schools. She can be reached at email@example.com.