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Program Highlight: EMPUJE

 
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When Somos’ In Our Hands campaign commenced, we never imaged that community would take an active role in holding their school district accountable to community needs. However, after a few house meetings it became clear that parents were going to be strong advocates for their children’s education outside of the home… and EMPUJE (push) was born.

The parent-led committee’s first priorities included having access to a bilingual liaison at Cesar Chavez Elementary School and space.

Fast forward two years and parents in Alum Rock Union School District have not only championed a district-wide language access, translation, and interpretation policy, but also recently leveraged the State’s new school funding formula to win major improvements in school/community relations and district decision-making.

These wins translate to $1.2 million to hire full time community liaisons at every school in the district for the 2015-2016 school year, in addition to $20,000 for parent training, and access to Mathson Institute of Technology for a parent led soccer league.