Latino PEG Meeting Report from April 29, 2015

Latino PEG Meeting Report
April 29, 2015

Beautiful weather and lots of happy energetic kids! The perfect combination for our traditional Dia del Niño celebration! Only two families were not able to make it to the meeting.

John Wallace opened the session with his reflection on how we never stop learning. For him there were three main things he learned that day…

  1. Why are there sandy beaches next to oceans? – a lesson from one of the students
  2. May 5th is not a much celebrated day among Mexicans.
  3. The importance and celebrations around Dia de los Niños in most Latin American countries.

John promised the parents that next year we would have a Dia del Niño celebration at Randall. Our guest speaker, Tammy Pineda from the Madison Public Library (Central & S.Park St.), jumped to join the future festivities. Parents loved the idea! John and Tammy had an opportunity to meet and talk about some of the initial details.The plan is on the works!

Next, we learned about the Madison Public Library’s Summer Programs for Children from Tammy. She is a former MMSD elementary teacher and is new to the MPL. Parents were asking about programs in Spanish for adults and children, as well as parking options for the downtown library. Tammy informed us that unfortunately currently there is only one program in Spanish planned for this summer for the kids. She also mentioned that yes, parking is an issue at the central library. You have to pay for parking and this can be a burden for some families. Tammy is determined and enthusiastic about adding more Spanish programs and resources, for adults and children at her locations, particularly at the S. Park St. branch. She was delighted to see that almost all parents had visited the library and that most of their children have a library card. Tammy encouraged the parents to attend the family events at the MPL this summer.

The meeting continued,  we helped parents fill out Goodman Pool’s scholarship application… and I have just been informed ALL scholarships were approved! Latino families will have a fun place to cool off this summer!

Next, Franklin teacher, Ellen B. handed parents a packet of recommended websites and FREE Apps for Smart Phones and Tablets, as well as a step by step instructions on how to access the Franklin and Randall Library Portals. Great educational resources for those who have access to technology and internet!

We finished the meeting with general announcements:

  • Randall’s Art Gallery Night
  • Summer School registration confirmation
  • After Math Club ends
  • Neighborhood House – Mentoring ends & new clubs starting

During the course of the parent meeting, children had the opportunity to run and play outside, and simply enjoy eachother’s company! Older siblings helped set up the decorations and Lotería prizes while parents attended the presentation. There were lots of helping hands! Dia del Niño celebration followed right after! Everything was perfect as families entered the gym. There were many amazing prizes beautifully displayed!… cake, ice cream and colorful balloons! The excitement filled the air as the Loteria cards started to be announced! Every kid wanted to be the first one to win! …to have first pick at the prize table! At the end I lost my voice, but it was well worth it! …to make it a memorable evening for the kids…to honor such wonderful tradition of celebrating children!

Final thoughts…
As we were cleaning up, one of the older kids, a 5th grade student, approached me. I guess he was reflecting on the event and asked with curiosity, “do these meetings cost?” “Oh yes!” I answered. “A lot of money, time and effort go into these meetings,” I added. “Who pays for this?” he continued.

…In the name of all Latino families I want to thank the PTO, the MMSD ESL Dept., the school staff, and the many donors and volunteers who make these meetings and events not only possible, but a huge success!