The Learning Process of Reaching Out and Programming to Hispanic Audiences

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    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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    (progression of after-school activities)
    Why middle school youth
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    Highlighted because of the community interaction and support
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  • The Learning Process of Reaching Out and Programming to Hispanic Audiences

    1. 1. The Learning Process of Reaching Out and Programming to Hispanic Audiences Waushara County’s CYFAR Project
    2. 2. 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).
    3. 3. 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
    4. 4. 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
    5. 5. 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.
    6. 6. 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.
    7. 7. 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
    8. 8. 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
    9. 9. 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
    10. 10. Our Approach… COMMUNITY ADULT and PARENT FAMILY YOUTH
    11. 11. FAMILY PROGRAMS • 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
    12. 12. 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.
    13. 13. 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”
    14. 14. 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.
    15. 15. 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
    16. 16. “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.”
    17. 17. 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 5th )
    18. 18. Mexican Independence Day • Celebrated on the 16th 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.
    19. 19. 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)
    20. 20. 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
    21. 21. 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
    22. 22. 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
    23. 23. 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
    24. 24. 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
    25. 25. Assumption • Informal networks exist within Hispanic community Realization • Families, mother in particular, are very isolated from their peers and other social support systems
    26. 26. For More Information Contact: Waushara County P.O. Box 487 Wautoma, WI 54982 (920) 787-0416 http://waushara.uwex.edu

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