Thursday, October 18, 2012

I haven't Posted. Reason? ALMas "Ayudandoles Lograr Mas"

All right, all right!  I know, I haven't posted on anything related to economics and health or education for a while.

Or like two months...

But it's only because school started and I'm working on a new project!  It's economics related and education related!

It is my baby, and the only program in my life so far--that if I start, I will be happy.

Here are a few details:

The organization, called ALMas ("Ayudandoles Lograr Mas") would gather bilingual Spanish-speakers on the University of Chicago's campus to provide pre-school ELL students (or students the school describes as academically at risk given their familial, language, and income background) of hispanic/latino descent with extra educational enrichment a focus on literacy development and access to academically and educationally rich environments of college mentors and role-models.  The program would most likely take place within a HeadStart program attached to a public school.
I've also had the honor and pleasure to meet with Molly Thayer, Director of Literacy for the UChicago's Urban Education Institute (UEI), and she gave me the UEI's commitment to train students/volunteers participating in my club to administer and teach according to the UEI’s comprehensive STEP education evaluation for students in prek-3rd grade--so that members and I can now move forward crafting an actual curriculum and materials list and exercises for the pilot-program.  Of course, we are still in the planning stages of the program with curriculum development at the forefront of our efforts right now.

And just as exciting, I just spoke with Lucy Hall, UChicago's Jumpstart Program Coordinator, and she's agreed to share with me Jumpstart's curriculum and lesson plans, as well as committed to train the core group of my volunteers on how to work within a pre-school environment with children, how to administer a structured lesson plan, and provided acces to DePaul University's Jumpstart that works with ELL students of Latino descent.

ALSO, GUESS WHAT?!  I MET DR. EUGENE GARCIA, the same researcher that I've referenced in the previous post! He was excited about my plan and introduced me to some heavy hitters within the education community working on early childhood development for Latino children.

Slowly, things are coming together to provide an environment for young DLL latino students to grow intellectually, socially, and academically through literacy development and mentorship.