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DOUBLE TAB TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET 38 Chapter 1 they learn. These teachers needed to hear the reasons why Latino girls come dressed up on the first day of school. They needed to know that the parents wanted to present their little girls in the best light to make a good impression on the teacher. The children were dressed up and had their hair combed in fancy ways to look beautiful and attractive. The parents also assume that at the “big” school their children sit neatly at their desks to learn. These parents show they value education when they send their children to school well-kempt and well-behaved—these are the qualities they believe make children ready for school. The problem is not that the parents don’t value education, but that they don’t know how young children learn and how kindergarten teachers teach. They don’t have the inside information. Educators as Cultural Guides A big part of Omar’s positive experience with the transition to kindergar- ten was the guidance his mother, Olga, received. While Omar was in the preschool program at Head Start, Olga was personally invited to monthly events from January to April. Each month’s topic was offered on a sched- ule that included morning, afternoon, and evening options. These options made it convenient for her to attend the workshops, since her shift as a grocery-store cashier changed every ten days. In addition to information on child development, Olga learned about how to choose a school and tips to help children transition to kindergar- ten. She liked best the session where a kindergarten teacher and a principal came to talk about how schools work. Olga learned about the differences between Head Start and elementary school and about the expectations for parent involvement. She understood that in the school, parents have to take more initiative in connecting with staff than they did in Head Start. In general, schools do not have as many family liaisons to help parents. The highlight was a PowerPoint slide showing the road from kindergarten to college, as well as the advice of the principal, who said, “If you do all COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL