Edu-Futuro (Educacion Para Nuestro Futuro)

In 1998, Edu-Futuro (Educacion Para Nuestro Futuro) was founded "from the ground up" by Latino parents who sought to address the educational needs of Latino families in Northern Virginia. Edu-Futuro's mission is to empower under-resourced Latino children, youth, and families through education and leadership development programs to succeed and contribute to their community. Edu-Futuro also advances cross-cultural understanding by teaching the broader community about Latin American cultures. Edu-Futuro is committed to building a community where: Latino families have access to the educational opportunities they need for improving their lives; Latino children succeed in school while...

Edu-Futuro (Educacion Para Nuestro Futuro)
2801 Clarendon Blvd.
Suite 216
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
7032282560
http://www.edu-futuro.org

Board of Directors

Eneida Alcalde, Gladis Bourdouane, Rosa Briceno, Constance Church, Pablo Feliciano, Alejandro Martinez, Oscar Oliveros, Kathie Panfil, Celina Penovi, Ambar Pinto-Gomez, Natasha Quiroga, Jami Rodgers, Vanessa Rodriguez, Gabriel Rojas, Faith Tabatabai

Project Leaders

Jessie Ferguson

Mission

In 1998, Edu-Futuro (Educacion Para Nuestro Futuro) was founded "from the ground up" by Latino parents who sought to address the educational needs of Latino families in Northern Virginia. Edu-Futuro's mission is to empower under-resourced Latino children, youth, and families through education and leadership development programs to succeed and contribute to their community. Edu-Futuro also advances cross-cultural understanding by teaching the broader community about Latin American cultures. Edu-Futuro is committed to building a community where: Latino families have access to the educational opportunities they need for improving their lives; Latino children succeed in school while maintaining pride in their cultural heritage; Latino high school students receive a strong start to pursue a higher education; Latino parents help their children's academic achievement and are advocates who can effectively contribute to improve education for all children; and, Latinos and the broader community have opportunities for cross-cultural learning. A truly grassroots effort, Edu-Futuro was volunteer-led for its first seven years of existence and, over the years, has grown from a few volunteers to a respected nonprofit with an Executive Director, a Board of Directors, and over 25 full-time and part-time staff. To this day, we maintain a strong volunteer culture, benefitting from 80 to 100 volunteers each year who are involved in our different program areas. Edu-Futuro is included in the 2011-12 Catalogue For Philanthropy, an annual publication which vets and features some of the "best smaller nonprofits" in the Greater Washington region. Our Executive Director, Eneida Alcalde was a finalist for the Young Women of Achievement Award in 2011 and was selected for the Leadership Arlington Class of 2013. Our Latino roots have given us a unique insight into our community's needs and influenced the creative development of our programs. The community-based solutions we have developed honor, value, and recognize the strengths of Latinos who we help succeed in partnership. In our most recently completed fiscal year, we positively impacted 71 youth, 238 children, 123 adults, and 232 parents through our out-of-school academic enrichment and leadership programs. Edu-Futuro increases immigrant Latino families' self-sufficiency: Parents become comfortable participating in their children's school activities as they begin to understand their rights and responsibilities as parents in the US and how to navigate the US school system. Latino children develop the capacity to read, write, and comprehend in their first language, Spanish, and apply these skills to improve their English literacy. At the same time, children from other cultures reap the linguistic and intellectual benefits of learning a second language at a young age. In this multicultural setting, children learn to appreciate each other's heritage. Latino youth are prepared to thrive in college as leaders who are committed to serving their community through volunteer service. We would be honored to be selected for GlobalGiving. Inclusion in GlobalGiving's network will allow Edu-Futuro to expand the valuable work we do, give us increased credibility, and will allow us to further enhance our visibility. In recent years, we have made an effort to raise our public profile through a name change (we were formerly known as Escuela Bolivia), a new website (www.edu-futuro.org), consistent mentions in news media (including Comcast Newsmakers), and inclusion in publications such as Arlington Magazine's Guide to Giving and the Catalogue For Philanthropy.

Programs

In Arlington, Virginia, Latinos have represented the highest percentage of student dropouts each year since 2004, according to the Arlington Public Schools Dropout Report. In fact, of the 207 students in 7th through 12th grades in 2010-11 who dropped out of school, more than 70%-148 students-were Latino (Kids Count Data Center, 2012). In Arlington Public Schools, Limited English proficient students, of which the majority is Latino, lag far behind native born White students in pass rates and standardized tests. This includes a 17% gap in English, an 18% gap in math, and a 21% gap in science (Arlington Public Schools Report Card, 2009-10). These statistics mirror national reports that indicate that Latinos are the most likely to drop out of school in the United States (US). As for Latino students who enroll in college, data suggests that they are not prepared for the rigors of college life and are at an increased risk of not completing their degrees. A recent College Board report indicates that the Latino college completion rate in the US is at 19%, far below the national average of 41%. This is exacerbated by the growth of the Latino community, which posted dramatic increases in Virginia and across the US according to the 2010 Census. The costs of our failure to support the achievement of Latino children, youth, and families will be significant for the US economy. According to the recent BBC article, "Hispanic Education in Crisis," at present, the US can boast the best educated workforce in the world. In 50 years, the majority of the US workforce will be Latino and if they are uneducated, our country's global competitiveness will be in danger. To address this crisis, Edu-Futuro focuses on the educational needs of Latino students. Edu-Futuro's programs support Latino children, youth, and parents by developing their academic skills, leadership ability, and attending to language issues. A strong body of research shows that such programs have a long-term impact on achievement levels, as well as intellectual, social, and development outcomes for children and youth. Like other nonprofits that serve Latinos in the DC region, such as CentroNia and the Latin American Youth Center, Edu-Futuro focuses on the academic success of underserved students. However, we are innovative in serving parents alongside their children and in teaching children in their primary language to strengthen academic skills. Additionally, the listed organizations are based in Washington, DC while our geographic focus is in Arlington, Virginia and surrounding communities. Edu-Futuro's programs include: Emerging Leaders Program (ELP): Each year, since 2004, ELP has transformed the lives of more than 250 children and youth through its leadership development and college prep coursework. ELP is based on the understanding that the earlier in life a child begins to be supported in their pursuit of a higher education-the more likely they will achieve their college goals. ELP emphasizes building leadership skills, the pursuit of higher education, mentoring, and community service, and strives to keep Latino students on the college track from elementary school to college enrollment. The ELP pipeline starts with parent education at the elementary and middle school grades and continues at the high school level when youth enroll in the college prep component of the program. Parent education at elementary and middle schools equips parents with the necessary skills and knowledge to be engaged-and be critical partners-in their children's education. Parents learn about their rights and responsibilities in the US school system, and become aware of the functioning of US schools. Workshops for high school parents, train parents on the college application process, financial aid, and college life so they can support their children in the transition from high school to college. Parent education is offered throughout the school year at various local schools in Arlington, Virginia. While in middle school, Latino students begin to develop their leadership skills as they strengthen their reading, writing, and comprehension ability through ELP's summer book club. Latino youth begin to enroll in ELP's college prep initiative in 8th grade. College prep offered to Latino youth focuses on time management; study skills; essay writing; interviewing, resume, and scholarship preparation; SAT prep; and public speaking. ELP hosts speakers who present on topics such as cultural identity; holds college and career panels; and provides students with field trips to colleges and conferences. ELP also engages students in community service and pairs students with dedicated mentors. ELP's college prep initiative is offered throughout the year in the fall, spring, and summer semesters in Arlington and Fairfax, Virginia. Escuela Bolivia Program: Children at the Escuela Bolivia Program develop their critical thinking skills as they engage in hands-on activities that make building Spanish language proficiency meaningful and intellectually stimulating. In addition to reading, writing, science, and math, students also engage in Spanish music classes. They tap into their creativity as they strengthen their cross-cultural awareness and understanding. Students in our program have the opportunity to work on essential skills while using the Spanish language in a safe and multicultural environment where they receive one-on-one support. The development of analytical ability allows children to logically comprehend complex concepts and solve problems in a disciplined manner-valuable skills that empower students to excel in school and in life. The Escuela Bolivia Program follows the Arlington Public Schools' calendar and meets weekly on Saturday mornings in Arlington, Virginia from September through May. Many of our teachers work in the Arlington Public School system during the week, while others are veteran educators in nearby communities. Serving 200 pre-kindergarten -8th grade children each year, the Escuela Bolivia Program's curriculum utilizes the research-based, student-centered, and developmentally appropriate Santillana second language education program. Our curriculum is also aligned to the Virginia Department of Education's science standards, giving students the opportunity to bolster their science skills as they develop reading, writing, and math abilities. The program also serves toddlers (1 to 3 years old) through our partnership with Arlington County's early childhood education program, Project Family. Project Family instructs toddlers and their caregivers together in Spanish as they learn activities that enhance motor skills and language development through music and play. In addition, we also offer after-school enrichment Spanish classes at Barrett and Campbell Elementary Schools during the school year and a two-week summer immersion camp, the Spanish Academy. These out-of-school classes are designed with teacher and parent input to attend to the academic needs of each child. The program also reaches more than 100 adults through its Spanish and ESL classes. ESL classes utilize the REEP curriculum, a learner-centered approach that assists students in attaining 21st century language, life, technology, and civics skills. Students in Edu-Futuro's programs are from Arlington and surrounding communities in Northern Virginia, as well as Washington, DC and Maryland. Children and youth are low-income Latino students (1 to 18 years old) who receive free or reduced price lunch. Children and youth are immigrants or children of immigrants who will be the first in their family to attend college in the US. Some students' families have an annual household income of less than $10,000 and others less than $20,000. Many students have at least one parent who is unemployed. Families represent a variety of countries of origin that include Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Program evaluation results from FY 2011-12 (August 1 - July 31) shows progress toward our goals of improving Latinos' academic success and community integration. In FY 2012-13, we expect similar measurable results: Children build their problem solving ability, as they, for example, investigate and write essays on the impact of events such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Tests demonstrate that 85% of students enhance academic skills-reading, writing, science, and math-included in the Arlington County curriculum. More than 80% of the immigrant adults who graduate from our ESL classes advance their English proficiency as measured by the Virginia Department of Education's Best Plus Test. Youth report improved knowledge of the college application process, increased self-esteem, and are inspired to attend college. Last year, of the students scheduled for graduation, 85% enrolled in higher education institutions. Further, 90% of students are involved in community service and 100% highly recommend ELP to their peers. Parents become more involved in their children's education, gain the confidence to communicate with their children's educators, and participate in school activities; 99% of parents rated our parent training as excellent. A parent revealed, "Now I am looking for ways to volunteer at school to see how my child is educated and in this way I help him and help his teacher." Edu-Futuro looks forward to continuing to meet the need for high-quality programs that support the well-being and academic achievement of Latino children, youth, and families. It is our hope that GlobalGiving selects Edu-Futuro to be part of its network. This recognition will allow us to promote our model and inspire more and more Latino children, youth, and families to excel in school, successfully enroll in and graduate from college, and fully participate in their schools and communities.

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