Crofton parent rewarded for translation efforts

May 26, 2012 by  

Ambareen Jafri of Anne Arundel County, a 35-year-old mother of three, won the Parent Involvement Matters Award on Friday, May 18 at Eastern Technical High School in Baltimore County. Interim State Superintendent Bernard Sadusky, Ed.D, and Chip Farris, District Team Leader for Target presented Maryland’s fifth annual honor.

Jafri started her charitable work four years before when an instructor from Nantucket Elementary School needed an Urdu speaker to support Pakistani and Indian families in the system.

This called her to act because she is able to speak and write in Urdu. Although she didn’t grow up in Pakistan (she was brought up in the United Arab Emirates), her family is formerly from there.

She began translating school letters brought home to parents. This involved much concentration and flyer printing at a local print company in Crofton.

Jafri then attended parent-teacher meetings to bridge the communication gap and made telephone calls on behalf of parents when a child was ill or had difficulties with a homework assignment.

When the Muslim families felt more at ease, she organized an Indo-Pak evening where parents, teachers and the principal came together for a potluck and presentation of how the school system functions in the U.S.This was a turning point for most parents as many of them had never set foot in the school.

Today, Jafri offers cross-cultural coaching for instructors and intervenes with Muslim middle-school and high-school students.

According to teachers and administrators, she has enlightened instructors, parents and students from very different places in a gentle manner, while dispelling misunderstandings about Muslim Americans.