Bienestar

Our mission is to build housing, hope and futures for the well-being of working families. We envision and develop communities where residents find dignity, hope, confidence, skills and courage to pursue their dreams. Bienestar believes that all work is honorable and champions those who provide essential labor to the community. We work to unleash the potential of people to improve the quality of life for themselves, their children, their families and the community.
Apr 16, 2014

MpowR Program Term 1 Ou tcome Report, 2013-2014

MpowR Program Term 1 Outcome Report, 2013-2014

Jose Arciga, Juniper Gardens, Elm Park Clubs – September 2013 to December 2013

Background: In September 201 3, 48 students walked into 3 separate MpowR clubs at Bienestar properties with homework in hand, ready to take on the new school year. The three clubs took place at Jose Arciga, Juniper Gardens, and Elm Park properties. Students attending the clubs came from Jose Arciga 1, 2 and 3, Jose Echeverria, Juniper Gardens and Elm Park. Each club met twice a week, either on Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday. The program owes huge thanks to The Jackson Family Foundation, The Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, The Irwin Foundation, and SafeCo Insurance, because the clubs would not have been happened without their vital support.

Registration began in August for the clubs, which are available for children in the kindergarten through sixth grades. In the week before school started, backpacks with school supplies were given away to students at Montebello, Sierra West, Elm Park, Jose Arciga, Sunset Gardens, and Reedville properties. This backpack donation drive was coordinated by Kaylen Miller, whom we all thank deeply. MpowR club coordinators also met with parents of students so that parents understood both the rules and the goals of the club. On the first day of each club, coordinators went over the rules with all the students and everyone signed a poster board with all the rules printed on it, to signify an agreement to follow the rules. To encourage good behavior, MpowR club coordinators continued giving out “kindness tickets” to individual students each day. Students received a kindness ticket if they went out of their way to help another student, if they helped the coordinator set up without being asked, if they worked well with others for the whole club, or if they were respectful, focused and on-task for the whole day. Although these tickets were given to individuals, coordinators kept track of how many tickets had been given out throughout the semester, and once any club reached 20 tickets total, they had the opportunity to choose their own activity for activity time. Students relished and enjoyed this opportunity.

The MpowR program underwent some slight changes this year. Firstly, the starting time for the clubs was moved from 3:30 to 3:45, due to new bus schedules which dropped the children off at their apartments later than last year. MpowR club started at 3:45 and ends at 5:15, and retained the same structure as last years’ clubs. Upon their arrival, students have 10 minutes to eat a snack (provided by the Oregon Food Bank), 30 minutes to work on their homework, 20 minutes to read books of appropriate grade level, 20 minutes for an activity, and 10 minutes for clean-up. As in years past, the schedule was adaptable for each individual student’s needs, and homework was the top priority; if a student could not finish their work in 30 minutes, they would continue to work on it (with assistance) through reading time and, rarely, activity time. For students with large amounts of homework each week, staff met with parents to formulate a plan so students wouldn’t have to work more than a half hour each time the club met; this way, all students could enjoy reading and activity time. Computers were also available at each property, which were very helpful for the increasing number of students who have online homework on sites such as STmath.com (math) or myon.com (reading).

Activity time had a slightly different focus this year. In years past, students would engage in an arts and crafts project or a science experiment each week. This year, after meetings with Forest Grove School district, coordinators of MpowR club decided a different approach would be more beneficial to our students. Now, coordinators plan fun activities with either a math or reading/language component for students to participate in each week. This change was made in large part due to the change in the Common Core standard curriculum for all students nationwide. The benchmarks in Common Core ask students to make more rapid progress in many subject areas, especially math and language arts. For this reason, staff kept the activity time, in which having fun is the primary goal, but now students get some academic benefit from the activities.

Some example activities: Synonym/antonym Tic-tac toe, where every game has a “start word” and one student must write a synonym of the start word for every “X” they write, and the other student must write an antonym for every “O”; Pig, a dice game in which students race up to 100 while deciding whether or not to gamble to get more points; Word Hat, where a word is placed on a student A’s head, and other students have to describe it to Student A without using the word or any part of the word; Number Hat, where a number is placed on Student A’s head, and other students must tell Student A what number goes with the original number to equal 10; Math Bingo; and Rhyming Bingo. Many students were sad to learn that there wouldn’t be any arts and crafts or science experiments this year, but they were surprised by how much fun the new games were!

On the last day of MpowR club, students were able to relax, enjoy cookies and lemonade, play generic holiday games, and receive a book as a gift from Bienestar. This was made possible by numerous donations from various libraries, individuals, and organizations which have donated large numbers of books to Bienestar.

Grade Statistics:

Juniper Gardens:
The average GPA of students in Juniper Gardens MpowR club for Term 1 of the 2013-2014 school year was 2.65. This was a moderate decrease from the club’s average GPA of 2.91 in Term 3 of last year. However, with the members of each club changing each year, individual increases or decreases in GPA are more telling. Out of the 9 students on which we have complete data, 4 increased their GPA and 5 decreased their GPA from Term 3 of the last school year. The average difference in GPA among individuals was -0.18. Out of the students receiving grades for how consistently they turn in homework, 1 increased their consistency, 3 students decreased their consistency, and 2 students remained the same. The students left out of these statistics did not receive homework grades (e.g., Tom McCall upper elementary students), could not provide last year’s grades, or were not in school (e.g., kindergarten students).

Elm Park:

The average GPA of students in Elm Park MpowR club for Term 1 of the 2013-2014 school year was 2.73. This was a moderate decrease from the club’s average GPA of 3.05 in Term 3 of last year. However, with the members of each club changing each year, individual increases or decreases in GPA are more telling. Out of the 14 students on which we have complete data, 4 increased their GPA and 10 decreased their GPA from Term 3 of the last school year. The average difference in GPA among individuals was -0.23. Out of the students receiving grades for how consistently they turn in homework, 0 increased their consistency, 7 students decreased their consistency, and 3 students remained the same. The students left out of these statistics did not receive homework grades (e.g., Tom McCall upper elementary students), could not provide last year’s grades, or were not in school (e.g., kindergarten students).

Jose Arciga:

The average GPA of students in Elm Park MpowR club for Term 1 of the 2013-2014 school year was 2.61. This was a decrease from the club’s average GPA of 3.03 in Term 3 of last year. However, with the members of each club changing each year, individual increases or decreases in GPA are more telling. Out of the 11 students on which we have complete data, 2 increased their GPA and 9 decreased their GPA from Term 3 of the last school year. The average difference in GPA among individuals was -0.38. Out of the students receiving grades for how consistently they turn in homework, 1 increased their consistency, 3 students decreased their consistency, and 4 students remained the same. The students left out of these statistics did not receive homework grades (e.g., Tom McCall upper elementary students), could not provide last year’s grades, or were not in school (e.g., kindergarten students).

Grade Analysis:

We suspect that the decline in GPAs in every club is due to a well-documented phenomenon known as “summer learning loss.” The majority of our students return to school after three months of not practicing reading, writing, or math. Entering a new classroom environment, a new teacher, and new grade material takes time to get accustomed to. The teachers and students learn how the other works and functions inside the classroom during the first term, and students begin developing the skills they need to succeed in their current grade. When students return for the second term, they know what the expectations are and are more comfortable with their environment. The teachers also know how the students learn and are better equipped to support them academically. For these reasons, we expect better grade results next term for our students. “Summer Learning Loss” affects students across all demographics, but it likely affects students such as those who reside in Bienestar’s properties more deeply. Not only are these students away from academic study for 3 months; often they are not exposed to the language that they study in (English) because Spanish is the primary language spoken in their homes. For this reason, it is often very difficult for our students to “get back in the swing of things” during the first few months of school.

Conclusion and Special Thanks:

Again, we thank The Jackson Family Foundation, The Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, The Irwin Foundation, and SafeCo Insurance, whose support has made MpowR clubs possible. We would also like to thank Elena Barreto, former MpowR Program Coordinator, whose years of hard work and dedication made the MpowR program what it is today.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jordan Harbaugh, Geraldine Araujo, Karina Soriano, and Lexie Bedell

MpowR Team


Attachments:
Jan 16, 2014

Parents As Teachers - Outcome Report

Parents As Teachers Participants
Parents As Teachers Participants

Bienestar began its second cycle of Parents as Teachers program to provide a monthly parenting group accompanied with individualized home visits in October, 2012.  Bienestar staff used the Foundational curriculum developed for parents with children from birth to three to teach parents how to foster their child’s cognitive and social development through interactive games, reading, socialization and nutrition. Parents learn how to interact with their child through play, implement positive discipline approaches and develop learning strategies with their child to start pre-school at a comparable level to other students.

One of the core values we share is the belief that “all young children and their families deserve the same opportunities to succeed, regardless of any demographic, geographic or economic considerations.” http://www.parentsasteachers.org/about/what-we-do/visionmission-history

Participants

In October 2012 registration was opened to all families living in Bienestar apartments. Twenty-one families registered 24 children, ages one month to three and a half years, for the program. We ended the program with 18 families and 21 children and four caseworkers.

Parenting education groups were held in eleven sessions over the course of the year, meeting once a month to discuss topics that include child and brain development, stress, the importance of play, music play, how to read with your child, child abuse, discipline, potty training, first aid response, poison prevention, health and nutrition, cultural differences and the effects of parents’ upbringing on their parenting styles. One of the ideas we attempted to instill in parents is that they are their children’s first teachers which run contrary to a common cultural belief that the child’s school teacher is. Following the discussed topic, parents and their children engaged in a read aloud or music play activity with homemade instruments to show parents how this could be implemented in their homes.

Several community partners came to the monthly group to present on varying topics. Adriana Cañas, Outreach Coordinator with the Hillsboro Fire Department presented on child and brain development, Christina Cleary, ¡Salud! Services Community Outreach Nurse through Tuality Healthcare presented poison prevention and First Aid Response, and Martin Blasco, Outreach Librarian for Latino and Multicultural Services from the Washington County Cooperative Library Services, conducted family literacy training. From these partners, each family received a poison prevention kit, a First Aid kit, and books for reading at home.

In addition to the monthly parenting education group, families received a monthly, one hour home visit from bilingual/bicultural staff who were trained through Parents as Teachers to use the curriculum and implement during home visits. Elena Barreto attended a three day intensive home visit training and received certification in October 2012. Gracie Garcia and Karina Soriano attended a three day home visit training and two day training to become affiliated with Parents as Teachers in March 2013. Maria Hidalgo was hired in June 2013 for additional support.

Overarching themes that were discussed during the hourly home visits were family routines and environment, child and brain development, windows of opportunity, safety, attachment, goals, health and nutrition, sleep, temperament, discipline, and transitions. Each topic was customized for the age and need of the family. A parent-child activity was also done to teach parents what things they should be doing with their child to promote healthy child development. Milestones were discussed with parents to know what they should be noticing in their child and how to help them develop age-appropriate behaviors. Activities that could be done with parents and children, depending on their age, included tummy time, shapes, colors, building objects with things around the house, crawling, among others. A total of 121 home visits were provided throughout the year, including eight referrals to Community Action Head Start or Oregon Child Development Corporation, two to Early Intervention/Northwest Regional ESD, for speech, one referral for counseling to Washington County Community Counseling Services, and one for the Oregon Health Plan. Thirty food boxes from the Murray Hills Christian Church were also distributed throughout the year to families who needed them.

The parenting group helped create community among the families that live in the Bienestar apartments and support each other when staff was unavailable. During the support groups children also learned to play and engage with one another in a positive manner. On the last day of the program, as the mothers were taking their post-test, their children were coloring and playing with each other. Staff was impressed with how well the children played together compared to the beginning of the year. Only one minor conflict arose in which one of the girls took a puzzle piece from two others who were building it together. Despite staff’s attempt to intercede, it was the three girls that resolved the conflict on their own by asking politely if they could have the puzzle piece back. The girls’ behavior and ability to resolve the conflict on their own is a testament to their parents for working patiently and diligently with them throughout the year to teach them positive ways to solve their problems. This is a clear sign of how much of a difference one year of this program can make in the lives of these families.

Thank you to all those who contributed to the program to make it a success. We would especially like to thank all the parents who attended the program with their children and worked with them to teach them and mold them into incredible human beings.

Results

A Parents as Teachers pre-test was given in November 2012 to test parents’ knowledge of child development. Nineteen parents took the pre-test and scored an average of 63%. The topics on the pre-test were discussed throughout the year during the monthly support groups and home visits. The post-test was administered in October 2013; eighteen parents took the post-test, scoring an average of 91%, increasing their score by 28%. Parents mentioned in the last group meeting that they learned a great deal about how to play and read with their child and they could make up stories based on the pictures in the book if the books were in English. Parents enjoyed learning about child developmental stages and milestones. They also liked community presenters speaking about different topics. Parents mentioned they would like for the program to continue and if it did to have more presenters, more group sessions and would like more than one home visit a month.

Parents As Teachers Participants 2
Parents As Teachers Participants 2
Oct 2, 2013

2013 Summer Lunch & Fun

Community Day
Community Day

Now for the fourth year, Bienestar offered Summer Lunch and Fun to the children of our multi-family housing properties and the community at large during the summer of 2013. With support from the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and the Hillsboro School District, we served a total of 3,164 lunches at two program sites; Sunset Gardens and Montebello, both located in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established by the USDA to ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free meals, that meet Federal nutrition guidelines, are provided to all children under 18 years old at approved SFSP sites in areas with significant concentrations of low-income children.

Lunch Time

The Summer Lunch and Fun program at Bienestar was operated Monday to Friday, June 17 through August 16. Lunch was served from 12:00 to 12:30 PM.

Before receiving their lunch, children first washed their hands. Afterward, they would be given their lunch which consisted of fruit, vegetable and a cookie alongside the main meal. The children could choose between chocolate or regular milk, however, lunch provided no choice. To prevent food from going to waste, a sharing basket was available where children had the opportunity to place food that they didn’t want.

Activity Time

After lunch, was an activity time which took place from 12:45 to 2:30. An average of 18 children participated per day. Every day of the week had a specific topic: reading, culture, arts and crafts, and physical activity. Each week also included a “community day” where different organizations from the community came out and did an activity with the kids. Participating organizations include local fire and police departments, the library, and the zoo.

The weekly themes included:

  1. Getting to Know Each Other
  2. Celebrating Differences/Cultures
  3. Happy Birthday America
  4. Hawaiian Islanders
  5. Africa
  6. Native Americans
  7. Asia
  8. Latin America
  9. Fiesta

Conclusion:

The Summer Lunch and Fun program is one that is very interactive with the kids and one that we have found to have had a positive impact on summer reading for many of our children. Not only are young kids able to receive a tasty free and healthy meal, they are able to meet some of the members of their community and become more aware of different cultures. By having dedicated reading days implemented throughout the week in a fun and educational atmosphere we are able to nourish their imagination, reading and discussion skills. The different themes allowed us to include a wide variety of cultures in the curriculum that introduced the kids to global thinking and inclusivity.

Certificates from the Police Department
Certificates from the Police Department
Enjoying Lunch
Enjoying Lunch
Sharing a laugh
Sharing a laugh

Links:

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