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The Learning Process of Reaching Out and Programming to Hispanic Audiences






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  • Jennifer
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  • Andrea Initially some time from all staff members was spent on each program area. Focused on programs according to expertise and time availability
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  • Andrea and Ashley (progression of after-school activities) Why middle school youth
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  • Andrea Highlighted because of the community interaction and support
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The Learning Process of Reaching Out and Programming to Hispanic Audiences The Learning Process of Reaching Out and Programming to Hispanic Audiences Presentation Transcript

  • The Learning Process of Reaching Out and Programming to Hispanic Audiences Waushara County’s CYFAR Project
  • What is the CYFAR Project?
    • (Children, Youth and Families At Risk)
    • CYFAR is a five year federal grant that has been awarded to UW Cooperative-Extension (specifically Waushara and Racine Counties).
    • The focus of the grant is to reach out to and provide educational programs to low-income, Hispanic families in the Tri-County School District (Plainfield and Hancock, WI mostly).
  • Why Plainfield and Hancock?
    • Demographics – Hispanic Residents
      • Waushara County
        • 1990 - 2% 1 2007 – 5.1% 2
      • 18% of the Tri-County School population 3
      • 19% Village of Plainfield 1
      • 6% Village of Hancock 1
      • 16% Rural Plainfield 1
    • Lack of resources
    • 1 United States Census Data, 2000
    • 2 United States Census Estimates, 2007
    • 3 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 2009
  • CYFAR Staffing:
    • 4-H Youth Development and Family Living educators working cooperatively
    • Two part-time (19 hours/week) CYFAR staff were hired with grant funds
    • Additional summer and year-round VISTAs assist with the youth component
    • Three state specialists with different %’s of time, support the project:
    • Matthew Calvert, Mary Huser and Jeffrey Lewis
  • Broad, original goals:
    • To increase participation of youth (grades 3-8) in high quality in-school and out-of-school time activities, specifically school and summer enrichment programs.
    • To offer monthly parenting programs that encourage parents to be more supportive and involved in their child’s in-school and out-of- school activities.
  • Family Needs Assessment:
    • Family interviews were conducted with Hispanic families in the Tri-County School District (Plainfield and Hancock, WI mostly).
    • Most interviews were conducted in Spanish with a bi-lingual CYFAR staff person.
  • What did we learn from the family interviews?
    • Parents want to learn English
    • Like the rural area they live in
    • Parents and youth Feel safe in the community
    • “ No one bothers them”
    • They like the “relaxed” and “natural” rural town they live in
    • Don’t celebrate or share their culture outside of their homes
  • What did we learn from the family interviews?
    • Want their children to go to good schools and do well academically and socially
    • Want kids to have stability in the school they attend rather than moving frequently
    • Rely on extended families for information on or how to access resources
    • Even with extended family, they often don’t spend much time with one another because they work so much
  • What did we learn from the family interviews?
    • Families enjoy simple activities like spending time talking with their kids or just being outside when the weather is good
    • Their food is an important part of their culture
    • Work hours are unpredictable and there are often long periods without work (several weeks). Therefore most choose to work more hours whenever the opportunity is available
    • Family Fun Nights
    • Family Potlucks
    • Home Visits
    • Cultural Events
    • Mother and Youth Cooking Classes
    • Goals of these programs:
    • Increase positive parent/child time together
    • Build adult and youth peer relationships
    • Increase awareness of community resources
  • Adult & Parent Programs
      • Women’s Night
      • Couple’s Night
      • English Conversation Classes
    • Goals of these programs:
    • Build social relationships with other adults and parents.
    • Improve their English conversation skills .
    • Increase their awareness of community resources.
  • Conversation classes are building a sense of “connectedness” (in a support group like way) and creating opportunities for these individuals to develop themselves. “ This class will help me to communicate with my kid’s teachers”
  • Planning for Youth Programs
    • Staff facilitated focus groups in the school to determine the interests of elementary youth.
    • The school did not have any after-school or summer opportunities for elementary students.
    • Staff created lessons based on youth interests, personal hobbies and talents, and 4-H curriculum.
  • Youth Programs
    • Tri-County Area School and Hancock Community Center
    • Opportunities are culturally sensitive, welcoming, and safe for youth
    • Curriculum includes new activities that are engaging, creative, and active
    • Activities focus on leadership, teamwork, life skill development, and service learning.
      • Fun Fridays/Penguin KidZ 4-H Clubhouse
      • Wacky Weekdays
      • Youth In Action
      • Penguin KidZ 4-H Clubhouse Leaders
  • “ I really like working with you because you are nice to me.” “ I learned to respect others and listen to them. They had good ideas.”
  • Community Programs
    • Traditional Mexican Holidays served as opportunities for families and CYFAR staff to plan and host celebrations in order to bring community members and businesses together and share their culture.
      • 16 de Septiembre (Mexican Independence Day)
      • Cinco De May (May 5 th )
  • Mexican Independence Day
    • Celebrated on the 16 th of September, this event brought together Anglo and Hispanic populations at a local park.
    • More than 20 business have supported this gathering twice trough donations of food, decorations and door prizes.
    • Approximately 125 community members attended the celebration the first year and about 150 the second year.
    • About 10% of attendees were non-Hispanic.
  • What we have learned so far… Community Partnerships
    • Typical community partnerships for building trust with the Hispanic community were scarce or non-existent in the Plainfield and Hancock areas.
    • (churches, cap agency, social service agencies, community cultural center, employers)
  • What we have learned so far… Staffing
    • Having a bi-lingual staff person who is a trusted member of the community is critical. This person acts as a liaison between the families and the unfamiliar project staff.
    • Multiple staff focus on Youth Programs
    • Consistent staff
  • What we have learned so far… Program Planning
    • Barriers to program implementation
    • Non-existent relationships with families
    • Trust
    • Language and Literacy
    • Long work days for families
    • Transportation
    • Confidence
  • Initial Assumptions
    • Families are low income with most being dependent on seasonal employment.
    • Families are aware of and utilize some community resources i.e. Food Pantry
  • Realization
    • Most families experience extreme poverty, periods of unemployment, food insecurity, fear of homelessness and untreated medical and dental problems.
    • About half of the families do not qualify for public welfare programs due to their citizenship status.
    • Families hesitate to seek resources that are unfamiliar to them.
      • Typical income for family of 4 is $13,200 (100% of U.S. Federal poverty level for a family of 4 is $22,044)
      • Physical, emotional and financial stress are constant factors in their lives
  • Assumption
    • Parents needed and wanted information to improve parenting skills
    • Realization
    • Learning parenting skills was not a high area of interest for parents
    • Parents have a lot of strengths in place
  • Assumption
    • Informal networks exist within Hispanic community
    • Realization
    • Families, mother in particular, are very isolated from their peers and other social support systems
  • For More Information Contact:
    • Waushara County
    • P.O. Box 487
    • Wautoma, WI 54982
    • (920) 787-0416
    • http://waushara.uwex.edu