The Latino Education Outreach Program is a public/private partnership providing a full suite of services to Latinos and their families.
The purpose of this Latino Education initiative is to identify and close the educational gaps facing the Latino population in Region 9. Several counties in our region anticipate continued growth in the Latino population. Jackson and Bartholomew Counties have the most significant Latino populations due to their manufacturing base and a maturing Latino community. The current challenges of the education and workforce systems are causing these two counties in particular to work with industry and education leaders to develop strategies and programs that are intended to increase the education attainment levels of the Latino community.
LATINO COLLEGE AND CAREER & READINESS COACHES
In the summer of 2016, two new part-time Latino college and career coaches were hired as part of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Skill UP grant. The work is going extremely well, as the coaches have been quick to build relationships with students, parents and with the school staff.
The coaches are providing a much deeper level of support and engagement with students than was available before. They work closely with the school corporation’s English Language Learner (ELL) program, with counselors, teachers and principals. They are building relationships and coaching/educating parents on the importance of education and how they can support their children. We have great confidence that the work of the coaches will have a positive long-term impact on the educational outcomes for Latino students.
LATINO MENTOR PROGRAM
The Latino education collaborative is now engaged in a Latino mentoring program intended to pair Bartholomew County mentors with Latino students, grades 11th & 12th, and their families supplementing the work of key school partners.
All partners involved work to motivate these students to increase their interest in the academic and career planning process to ensure that the students have the skills and information necessary to graduate high school and pursue a higher education.
Pursuing higher education can be a monumental task for any family, but is a near-impossible proposition for Bartholomew county Latin American students in a low-income, education, or socialization level. The mentors are helping these students and their families navigate the college financial aid and application process.
The Latino Education Outreach program organizes and facilitates various workshops, conferences, and events that offer the Latino community the opportunity to be involved in interactive, educational and cultural events.
AQUÍ EN COLUMBUS (NEWSLETTER)
In an effort to communicate and unite the Latino community, a group composed of people from various countries have developed a newsletter called Aquí en Columbus. This newsletter contains information regarding activities and events that are taking place in our community. It also spotlights organizations that serve the community of Columbus, but more specifically the Hispanic community.
Aquí en Columbus is free and is distributed once a month through organizations that serve the Latino community including the ESL department of the school, medical clinics, churches, Mexican stores and the Mexican bakery.
HIGH SCHOOL CONFERENCE FOR PARENTS (IN SPANISH)
This conference, delivered in Spanish, takes place every fall semester offering information on high school graduation, college applications, scholarships, and testing. Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC) staff speak with parents and answer questions regarding the transition from high school to college and/or work after high school. Ivy Tech Community College also provides information on several careers and how to complete those specific applications.
During this conference, a teacher will demonstrate the Parent Portal and explain how to access students’ grades. Other topics include how to transition from middle school to high school, how parents can support their children in high school, and college requirements/costs.
The objectives of this conference include:
- Parents involvement in their child’s education
- Parents knowledge of the school system
- Parents being a support system for their child
- Parents participation at their child’s school
- Parents knowledge of how to help their child be successful in school
For more information, please contact Luz Elena Michel, Latino Education and Outreach Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812.314.8636.