Photo courtesy of KOBI

Central Oregon

KOBI Spirit of Community Moment: Bridging Cultural Gaps

KOBI: Oregon Community Foundation helps fund a program in Central Oregon that prepares three to five-year olds for kindergarten. The classes are taught in Spanish and attended by parents as well. Together, the kids and their parents learn skills to help them overcome cultural and educational barriers. Here’s another Spirit of Community Moment.

KOBI: For over 20 years, Juntos Aprendemos has helped over 2,000 Latinx children get ready for a life of learning.

Gabriela Peden: We started to see what we could bring into Central Oregon to help families and their children get ready for kindergarten and really support them to understand the education system better.

KOBI: Gabriela Peden is the Program Director for Juntos Aprendemos.

GP: And kiddos get to learn in the language that they're hearing at home with things that they might recognize from their home.

Esther Morales: I honestly enjoyed it a lot as a parent because it did give me that sense of community.

KOBI: Esther Morales participated in the project with her own kids. Now she’s the Family Engagement Coordinator for Juntos Aprendemos.

EM: I love the fact that it just it motivates the children to get them ready for kindergarten, it, it takes away that that fear in them to start school and get them comfortable.

GP: They are finding a sense of community within our program. So, we have you know, families who start a program, and then they become friends. And then you know, then they're doing their own thing, and they're going to the park and they're inviting each other to their kids’ celebrations. And so, there is community being built within the program itself.

EM: There's still families that my daughters are friends with and just what is taught, it just kind of stays in you.

GP: This year, we have close to 80 participating in between five of our programs.

KOBI: And there are 20 families on the waiting list.

EM: I feel like what's taught is something that just you can take with you forever in the program for sure.

KOBI: If you’d like to help make Southern Oregon a better place to live, visit Oregon Community Foundation at oregoncf.org.

This from KOBI TV's "Oregon Community Foundation: Spirit of Community" series.