Two New Grants Help Power Youth Rising Program

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A foundation and a local church invested in the success of Latino students in Central Oregon in July by helping fund the Youth Rising Literacy & Empowerment Program. The Wells Fargo Foundation awarded $5,000 and the Trinity Episcopal Church Outreach Commission donated $2,000 to the Latino Community Association for its innovative youth programs.

Raices (Roots) recruits Spanish-speaking mothers to teach students in grades 1-5 after school to read and write Spanish, their first language. The weekly classes encourage kids to see Spanish as an asset instead of a deficit, which often happens from watching their parents struggle with English. Connecting with their parents’ culture boosts self-esteem and motivates students to achieve in school. In 2016, only 64 percent of English Language Learners in our Bend-LaPine School District graduated on time and 7 percent dropped out. Raices will improve students’ confidence, as well as reading scores, overall grades and behavior.

The other main component of the Youth Rising Program is the Amiguitos Summer Club. Once a week, LCA offers outings to parks and cultural centers for 7 to 13-year-olds in Bend and Redmond. Participants get an inside look at their communities and a chance to experience adventures in the natural environment. LCA also partners with the Deschutes Public Library to deliver books and learning activities directly to neighborhoods where kids lack transportation in a program called Books Build Brains.

About Latino Community Association
For the past 18 years, the Latino Community Association (LCA) has been empowering Latino families and children and building bridges across cultures to create a more resilient Central Oregon.  In partnership with caring individuals, businesses, community organizations and public agencies, LCA remains committed to ensuring full participation of Latinos in our communities. Programs of LCA include: Workforce Education and Training, Family Empowerment, Healthy Families, Youth Rising and Cultural Enrichment. Its services impact roughly 7,000 people every year. For more information or to join LCA, visit www.latinocommunityassociation.org or call 541.382.4366

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