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Inspiring Families to Learn with Elev8!
Published: October 15, 2009
Elev8, an initiative designed to integrate new services locally at the Pilsen neighborhood elementary school Orozco Community Academy, has successfully engaged students and their families in a wide variety of educational opportunities ranging from computer training to health classes. During its first year, thirty Orozco parents took advantage of the opportunities, and this number continues to grow as Elev8 popularity grows.
“Response has been very positive as parents seized the opportunities available, took advantage of the programs and learned new valuable skills, which have improved their living” shared Luis Bermudez, Elev8 Site Director. “Elev8 parents learn new skills, they can make the leap to use a computer, to eventually use email and the internet, and perhaps, increase their earning potential.”
Many Elev8 parents committed to these courses achieved perfect attendance during this 1st year cycle; this despite the many different responsibilities parents cope on a daily basis. Those with perfect attendance were able to enter in a special giveaway of two brand new laptops, possible thanks to a Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) grant.
Susana Gonzalez, an Orozco Academy parent and Elev8 participant, was one of the lucky parents to win one of the personal computers. “I was initially attracted by the topics covered by the Elev8 programs and decided to participate. I saw the benefits of these educational opportunities when I realized my English language skills were improving and, more important, as I was operating a computer. I defied that intimidation technology always made me feel” explained Ms. Gonzales. “Thanks to Elev8 I am capable of using a computer and be more aware about what my daughter does on the internet. We are both growing academically thanks to Elev8.”
Elev8’s Computer Class
Another Elev8 participant and grandmother of an Orozco student, Maria Elena Rodriguez, also recently made the leap into the digital age. “My main motivation was to learn computers so I could help my grandson, know what he is watching online and also to be able to communicate with friends and family, here and back home,” Ms. Rodriguez commented. Like other participants, it was Maria Elena’s first encounter using computers. “Before, I felt insecure, but after seeing my grandson using the computer and understanding it pretty well, I realized that I could learn too. Thanks to Elev8, I was able to learn the basics, now I have my own email and I am eagerly waiting for a more advanced course.”
More Orozco parents are taking advantage of the learning opportunities Elev8 brings to the community and as the program enters its 2nd year this trend is bound grow, especially when there is the chance of winning a new personal computer. “New parents are getting engaged, those that knew about Elev8 but had not yet taking advantage of the Elev8’s programs. This is good news as it ensures a higher turnout for this school year and years to come” exclaimed Mr. Bermudez as he looks forward to extend the impact of Elev8 programs in our community.
For more information contact Luis Bermudez, Elev8 Site Director at Orozco Community Academy, at (312)666-1323 ext. 241 or email [email protected].