Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Next Steps for ALMas

These are the next steps:
  1. Contact the principle at Richard Daley Elementary and request/schedule an appointment ASAP.
    • Pitch the idea, ask questions pertaining to what the school would like, transportation, and ESL teachers available.
    • Get contact information from ESL teachers
    • Figure out if there will be an extra need for financing/grants
    • If so, begin search for grants that the school can apply for
  2. Research after school academic focused programs in Chicago
    • Contact the program directors and ask to meet with them
    • Ask for sit in on their program
    • Learn about their model, approach
      • Take notes and figure out what I can copy/emulate and tweak
  3. Draft program model and proposals for curriculum
    • If necessary, develop curriculum from example programs (if financing for RAVE-O is unavailable)
  4. Contact potential ALMa tutors whom I've already e-mailed and heard from.
    • Provide them updates and ask their opinion
    • Ask to meet them in person to discuss their participation in the club
  5. Plan tutor recruitment
So I'm thinking of a new name for the club:


Literally translates to:  "Souls"
Can be interpreted as:  "All Mas" which is a combination of English and Spanish for, All More
Acroynum for:  Ayudandoles Lograr Mas, Helping them achieve more.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Club Planning/Problems & Feelings

Had a great time with my father and sister today at Sea World.  Wish my mom could've come too, but she was working.  :[  Though, I don't think she would've had as much fun, since she gets tired from walking only an hour.

But back to more pressing issues and priorities:  ALMa.

So I was thinking about how this program would start and where it would be housed.  I have already spoken with Cristhian Espinoza-Pino, founder of PALMA at the University of Michigan.  PALMA is the program I want to somewhat emulate, while also taking a few lessons from Moneythink, the financial education non-profit begun at the University of Chicago that is expanding fast (and I used to be a part of).

So here it is:
  1. It'll probably have to be based at an elementary school, in the school's library (for access to books and reading materials), and after-school (if not during school for an amount of time).
  2. I want to focus on two groups: Pre-K to 5th grade students.
  3. Separate the students into two separate groups:
    • Pre-K or Kindergarten
    • 1st - 5th grade students
  4. Background of children: children whom the school either considers at-risk, or comes from the following background:
    • latino
    • low-income household
    • parents have attained low education
    • displays difficulty academically to learn
      • as measured by teachers or the school.
  5. Once the target population of children have been identified, give them handouts to send to their parents detailing a new after-school or during school program for the children.
    • Children bring back the handouts signed (hopefully).
  6. ALMa peeps and I review how many tutors we have available and take as many kids as we can, focusing on reading comprehension.
    • For Pre-K and Kindergarteners, we'll follow curriculum from CPS schools, and we'll probably have them in the school's library to focus on reading.  (The school's teachers could probably give us good insight into what they would like us to focus on).
    • For 1st - 5th graders, I'm still unsure.  I'd like to see what curriculum the researcher N.R. Riggs used for academic achievement.  Maybe I'd just use that.
      • Contact N.R. Riggs* from the research paper on the benefits of after school programs for migrant latino children.
      • *Tel.: +1-814-865-3356, E-mail address: (N.R. Riggs).
      • Ask how their academic after school program worked.  Try to emulate it.
        • From what i understand to so far, the after-school program was twice a week, and it consisted of:
          1. snack time (what were the snacks like?)
          2. homework time
          3. outdoor or group activity time (academic focus)
            • Need to find out examples of these activities
          4. academic achievement curriculum time (35-45 minutes)
        • I would need to discuss what a program based upon spanish-speaking volunteers would look like.  What to focus on?  Get a copy of that achievement program.
        • What is a must:
          • snack time
          • homework time
          • academic achievement program time
    • Total time: 1.5-2 hours (?), twice a week.
  7. What I need to do:
    • Find and contact elementary schools within reasonable reach via public transit that serve a heavy latino population.
    • Set up a meeting with the principal(s) to ask them if they would like a program like ALMa at their school.
    • If so, what would be the best way to implement the program?
      • What's transportation for the children look like?  
      • How will they get back to school after tutoring on the two days?
    • Find a faculty adviser for the club.  That's important.
    • GET SOME ANSWERS!  Time to get cracking this coming week for a good start to the year.

Other thoughts:

I don't feel connected to people I should feel connected with.  I don't know.  I also tend to be repulsed by the idea of a relationship at the moment, even though I may like someone--but it's probably because I don't want to get burned again.  And probably because I think the girl I may be interested in probably has no interest in me whatsoever, or she may like someone else at the moment.

Either way, I'm happy to focus on my goals and the people that are relevant to helping me achieve those goals (good ones, too!  Not businessy ones)--but everyone else (except a very select few) really just annoy me...and I have to really hide being annoyed.  Sometimes, they just talk about the most pointless things.  Or I'm just becoming a prick.  

I don't know.  I haven't been this driven for a while.  

I need to go for a long run.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

ALMa Focus Plans

First focus for the younger children:

  1. Reading skills.  Reading comprehension.  That'll be one of the major focuses for the club.
This is according to the data and the research:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Time to Call in the Big Guns

All right.  I've committed to starting ALMa (Ayudandoles Lograr Mas).

Helping them achieve more.

That's the name:


"Ayudandoles Lograr Mas"

I'm in it to win it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Excerpt in Truth I'd Been Running From

But I can't express enough
how excited I am
speaking to Beth, the program director
and seing what PALMA has done and what it's doing
I've been trying to run away from the idea that because I'm latino, I have to do stuff with the latino community
that it was cliche
but, I don't want to run from it anymore, because I found that immigrant issues, and children specifically, really energize me like nothing else
I love it dude, plain and simple. Little latino kids should be able to get to a great school like I did.
and do way better than I can

Plain and simple:

"Little latino kids should be able to get to a great school like I did.  And do way better than I can."