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Adelante Mujeres launches education project

Resource type: News

The Hillsboro Argus |

Original Source

FOREST GROVE – Adelante Mujeres is launching a new project, Champions for Early Childhood Education, focused on enhancing the services of Adelante Mujeres and partner project, PODER Family Literacy, by matching local baby boomers to low-income, Spanish-speaking immigrant children.

The program was made possible by generous donors through the Oregon Community Foundation. The pilot project is a part of the Community Experience Partnership, a national effort funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies that aims to expand opportunities for older adults to engage in work, lifelong learning and volunteer activities that better their communities.

Additional local funding partners are United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, Juan Young Trust, and Knowledge Learning Corporation.

The project will begin in mid-February and is currently seeking volunteers who are interested in sharing their skills to make a difference in the life of a child and participate in this outcome-based, collaborative effort. The project boasts flexible hours and will truly make a difference in each child’s development. For more, contact David Pero, volunteer coordinator at Adelante Mujeres.

Pacific University’s Child Learning and Development Center will provide training for volunteers. The weekly time commitment is one hour.

Champions for ECE targets young children in environments where issues of poverty, low parent education, language barriers and lack of interest in reading are paramount. The program addresses a national crisis that one in three children enter kindergarten lacking basic pre-reading skills.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for both children and adults to form and maintain a one-on-one relationship while having an intercultural exchange,” said Francisca Perez, coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Program at Adelante Mujeres. “The children will have the opportunity to converse with a native English speaker and the baby boomers can share their ideas about child development while really making a difference in a child’s life and learning process.”

Adelante Mujeres provides holistic education, career development and support services for low-income Latino families. In Oregon, the Hispanic dropout rate is nearly three times higher than that of non-Hispanic white students. However, a recent Pew Hispanic Center survey revealed that only 16 percent of Hispanic students who speak English well drop out of school, compared to 59 percent of those who do not.

Low literacy skills in one’s native language is one of the most significant barriers to learning a second language. Adelante Mujeres is committed to literacy for the entire family.

Bobbie Rodriguez shared, “As a board member and former kindergarten teacher, I am especially excited to see the direct impact that the CECE project and its volunteers will have with the children in Adelante’s early education program.

“I hope the training and support the CECE volunteers receive will become a model for other volunteer programs.”

©2009 Hillsboro Argus

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Community Experience Partnership