GEAR UP Iowa Facilitators, Tiffany Berkenes and Flor Slowing, participated in an Iowa State Univesrity Extension & Outreach training to facilitate the “Juntos: Together for a Better Education” program in GEAR UP Iowa schools. The program aims to reduce the number of Latino youth who are dropping out of school and involves the participation of youth and their parents. The workshop series provides valuable information and fun activities to assist Latino youth in graduating from high school, as well as planning for higher education.
The five workshops sessions include the following:
- Discussion of making education a family goal
- Importance of effective communication within the family and with the school
- Information about high school graduation requirements
- The process of applying for college and financial aid
Throughout the entire program, Latino families are encouraged to create an action plan and create education goals for their children.
Tiffany and Flor had the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with counselors, teachers and community organizer from partner districts, Des Moines, Perry and Marshalltown. These GEAR Iowa school districts plan to use GEAR UP funds to implement the Juntos program in this 2015-2016 academic year. In addition to assisting partner districts on the planning process, Tiffany and Flor are eager to co-facilitate the workshops and adapt them to the unique needs of each of their districts.