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Education Advocate of the Month: Leo Perales

At League of Education Voters, we recognize all of the hard work that you do toward improving public education across Washington state.

Meet our Education Advocate of the Month for October: Leo Perales. Read about his experience as a strong advocate for equity in the Tri-Cities and beyond.

Leo Perales - League of Education Voters

October Education Advocate of the Month Leo Perales

Leo Perales is vice chair of Consejo Latino, he is part of League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and was one of the first community members to join the Campaign for Student Success, the coalition that advocated during the 2017 legislative session for education funding to go toward the students who need the most support. Since 2015, Leo has worked continuously with League of Education Voters Community Organizer Ruvine Jiménez. He is involved in forums and events encouraging community activism to improve the quality of life in the Tri-Cities. He currently manages The Perales Report Facebook page.

Leo was born and raised in Kennewick, Washington, the grandson of migrant workers, and the son of Jennifer and Lloyd Perales, who have family ties to the lower Columbia Valley. He graduated from Kamiakin High School in 2005, and later transferred to Columbia Basin College and eventually Heritage University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 2012.

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Statement of Belief

We believe in the transformative power of public education.

Public education is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy, preparing our children for stable, family-wage jobs, and contributing to the well-being of their families and community.

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

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Connect Tri-Cities

Connect Tri-cities 2017 logo - Square

October 10-12, 2017

Kennewick, WA

By the Connect Tri-Cities Team

What is Connect Tri-Cities? It’s a job fair. A STEM competition. Veterans outreach. Retirement planning. Networking. Interactive exhibits. Job skills preparation. Guest speakers. Connect Tri-Cities will be a resource for the Tri-Cities community, employers and job seekers, sponsored by Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance and their corporate partners, Leidos, Jacobs and Centerra Group.

Connect Tri-Cities seeks to collaborate with community and nation-wide stakeholders to support an effective transfer of knowledge and recruit job seekers in collaboration with STEM, trade/craft and apprenticeship organizations.

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September Education Advocate, the Monthly Enews

education advocate header

 

Greetings

Arik Korman

Arik Korman, Communications Director

It’s back to school time at my house, and that means the morning rush is in full swing – searching for that missing sock, packing up lunch, and making sure my third-grader has everything he needs to have a good day. All across Washington state, students like my son are running around to get to their classroom, ready to learn and hoping to receive what they need to have a good day, a good school year, and a good life.

League of Education Voters is excited for the new school year, too. We are hard at work advocating for every student to receive a great public education and the support necessary for success. For some students, also just like my son, the need is greater than quality instruction, curriculum, and classroom materials – they may also need mental health counseling, trauma-informed care, supplemental nutrition, or individualized learning assistance.

As you know, many Washington students do not receive these critical services, and the outcomes are devastating. Last year alone, more than 14,000 high school seniors in Washington did not graduate. Students who don’t graduate from high school are twice as likely to face unemployment throughout their life, and several studies indicate higher rates of mortality for these students, as well.

Support us today and join the voices demanding critical system transformation so Washington’s students receive the support they need to thrive, innovate, and become the leaders of tomorrow.

When you are rushing out the door tomorrow morning, think of the 1.1 million kids in Washington doing the same thing – they deserve, and will have, a brighter future with the help of League of Education Voters supporters like you.

Read below for more about our work.

Thanks again for all you do for Washington’s kids. We’re all in this together.

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Education Advocate of the Month: Candace Harris

At League of Education Voters, we recognize all of the hard work that you do toward improving public education across Washington state.

We are pleased to announce our Education Advocate of the Month for September: Candace Harris. Read about her experience as a strong advocate for early learning in rural Eastern Washington.

League of Education Voters September Education Advocate of the Month Candace Harris

September Education Advocate of the Month Candace Harris

Candace Harris is Director of the Valley Early Learning Center, part of the Valley School District about 45 miles north of Spokane. Because Valley is a rural school district, many of the families live in poverty. Representing rural Washington, Candace attended the Education Vision Project that League of Education Voters convened in March, where stakeholders from the Spokane region envisioned what our education system could look like. Candace has a passion for working with kids and understands the importance of teachers receiving the training they need to engage students with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and she would like to see Social Emotional Learning (SEL) incorporated into school practices.

Rural districts like Valley faces different challenges than their urban counterparts. Candace says, “There’s a lot of isolation out here – your school or early learning center can be 20 miles away, so schools end up becoming the hub of the community.” In rural areas, schools take the place of community centers. She adds, “In rural communities, we wear multiple hats, like a lot of people in education do, but it does end up looking a little different.” Candace is the Director of Valley’s Early Learning Program, is a family advocate and a family engagement coordinator for toddlers through 2nd grade, and she also does home visiting. “Resources are spread pretty thin,“ she says. “If you think about our area, there isn’t even a pediatrician. The closest one is 30 miles away in Riverside.”

Candace has lived in Stevens County her entire life. She started substituting as a para pro at Valley School District and worked to develop an early learning program. She explains, “We had childcare for employees, and the next year, we started doing the Early Childhood Education Assistance Program (ECEAP), we then became licensed as a childcare center to serve as many people as we could. Besides us, there isn’t any other licensed childcare in our area.”

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Kids Co. Demonstrates Chopped Chops

Kids Co. students learn about cooking and nutrition during friendly competition

Kids Co. Chopped Competition, part 2 - League of Education VotersKids Co. is a Seattle-area quality childcare provider that has partnered with South Shore PK-8 since the school opened in 2002. Kids Co. has provided millions of dollars in scholarships with help from the New School Foundation and the League of Education Voters. Nearly 60 percent of all children who attend Kids Co. at South Shore qualify for free or reduced lunch (FRL), and receive these scholarships.

Every day, Kids Co. sees the parents of the kids served, so they get to know the families – their ups and downs and financial struggles – and it’s all about relationships. Their summer programs serve kids K-5, and the kids from different grades learn to work together and support each other.

Kids Co. supplements meals, and they teach kids how to create a nutritious meal on a budget, instilling these skills in children as young as 5 years old. At South Shore, the Kids Co. classroom features a full kitchen, and is able to prepare hot, fresh meals.

President and CEO Susan Brown says, “The school day begins when the kids wake up. Kids spend more time in childcare than in school.” During summer, that can be as many as 11 hours a day for working parents, and 5 each day during the school year. Susan adds, “Nobody is turned away because of lack of funds.”

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There Is No Excusing Racism

This has been a really devastating week for all of us. Racism is a stain on this country. Though it cannot be erased, we can work together to remedy its effects and make a future that reflects the values for which this country stands. We recognize that people of color experience the effects of racism every day, and that it impacts our students.

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

We cannot let events like Charlottesville drive us apart. We have to work together. This is not the first time that hatred has raised its ugly head, and it won’t be the last time.

What’s happening is not okay today, it wasn’t okay yesterday, and it’s not okay for tomorrow. We stand together to raise our voice unequivocally that we do not tolerate racism and we will not be silent.

Sincerely,
League of Education Voters staff

Chris Korsmo, CEO
Daniel Zavala, Director of Policy and Government Relations
Leann Arend, Chief Operating Officer
Emily Ditty, Development Director
Nancy Hopkins, Senior Administrative and Accounting Assistant
Sandra Jarrard, Regional Field Director, Spokane
Ruvine Jiménez, Community Organizer, Tri-Cities Region
Arik Korman, Communications Director
Kelly Munn, State Field Director
Jessica Nieves, Development Associate
Angela Parker, Policy Analyst
Ashley Rammelsberg, Digital Communications Specialist
Jake Vela, Senior Policy Analyst
Julia Warth, Assistant Director of Policy and Government Relations
Joyce Yee, Community Organizer, South King County Region

Posted in: Press Releases & Statements

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Tukwila GLAD Trains Teachers on English Language Learning

English Language Learners are engaged in an innovative way using methods developed by Project GLAD

Tukwila StudentThe Tukwila School District, one of the most diverse in the country, is in its third year of training elementary school teachers to engage English Language Learner (ELL) students in an innovative way. Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) was field tested for nine years by the United States Department of Education and has been deployed across the country for more than 20. It is a professional development model in the area of academic language acquisition and literacy, designed to specifically target and promote language skills, academic achievement, and cross-cultural skills with groundbreaking efficiency.

At Tukwila Elementary School, trainer Jennica Kantak taught 20 fourth-grade students with support from Vice Principal Carla Carrizosa in front of an audience of about 20 elementary teachers from across the district. So far, 72 of Tukwila’s 90 elementary school teachers have taken part in GLAD trainings, which are funded by the state’s Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (TBIP) and federal Title III money.

GLAD student Tukwila GLAD training

In this particular English Language Arts summer school remedial class, Jennica stressed to her students, whom she addressed as scholars, the importance of 21st-century collaboration skills. The morning began with the mantra of “Show respect, make good decisions, and solve problems.” On a colorful chart, she listed how cooperation looks, highlighting actions such as using a positive tone of voice, keeping voices off, focusing on the speaker, sharing resources, and being brave, patient, kind, flexible and organized.

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August Education Advocate, our monthly enews

education advocate header

 

Greetings

Arik Korman

Arik Korman, Communications Director

I would like to introduce myself – I’m Arik Korman, Communications Director at the League of Education Voters. I’ve been on staff since November 2015, and served on the Board for two years prior. I have a son who is going into third grade in public school, and I believe that education, when done right, is the great equalizer in society. I’ll be sending you the monthly Education Advocate e-news, and am happy to kick things off by sharing our 2017 Legislative Session Scorecard. The 2017 legislative session resulted in plenty of good progress for Washington’s students, but much work remains to be done. Check out our Legislative Scorecard to see how we did on our legislative priorities.

Also, we’d like to thank our generous donors from the second quarter of 2017. We couldn’t do our work without you, so if you haven’t supported us lately, you can still make a gift today.

Read below for more about our work.

Thanks again for all you do for Washington’s kids. We’re all in this together.

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