April 2020
In this issue: Peachtree gives back, A message from the ESL team, #GivingTuesdayNow, Clairmont Afterschool online, and more.
LaAmistad, Peachtree Church Team Up to Serve Students and Families
LaAmistad is proud to be working alongside its church partners to make sure that the students and families of our community have the resources they need. Check out the video to see how!
LaAmistad ESL Classes Continue in New Virtual Classroom:
A Message from the ESL Team
Volunteers Jordan Moore and Brittany Kavanagh teaching their level 2 class using LaAmistad’s new Virtual Learning
Dear ESL family,

We would like to begin by wishing you all the best in these trying times. We hope you are staying safe, and want you know that we are working to maintain the ESL program’s momentum. The amazing student enrollment and engagement traction that all of you helped create is continuing.

Although we are all missing the in-person interaction with our students and ESL community, we are working hard to maintain their engagement, ESL studies, and life enrichment activities and resources. Social distancing has made doing what we love particularly difficult, since our passions are based on bringing people together, teaching, and community building! But you, our amazing teachers and volunteers have shown you are up to the task by continuing to work hard on ESL’s brand new virtual format. To fully show what we have accomplished, it is worth recapping what has been done in just a few short months.

The month of March started like normal as we prepared for winter session’s final month. Enrollments were steady and we were ramping up promotion and marketing for spring session set to start on April 13th. Tuesday, March 12th, was the last day in-person ESL activities took place as COVID-19 brought about social distancing guidelines amid public health concerns. ESL staff and volunteers worked diligently to create a virtual platform for our students to use so they could continue learning, connecting with their teachers, and receive reassurance that we are still here for them.

Building the virtual platform has required long hours, learning curves, many training sessions, trials and errors, and most of all perseverance. T he hard work and effort done to accomplish this feat in such short time deserves much recognition. We look forward to sustaining the new virtual platform for future use as it has proven to present new opportunities for students and teachers from afar. ESL volunteer Brittany Kavanagh is teaching all the way from Rhode Island! We know this can be a great tool to reach even more students in need and allow volunteer opportunities for those who don’t reside in the Metro Atlanta area.

We are so very thankful to work with you in fulfilling LaAmistad’s mission. It is an honor to change lives with you. We will see you all soon and be reunited with our amazing students!

Wishing you blessings and safety,

Your ESL Director & ESL Instructional Coach
Briana Reeves and Jocel Thornhill
Support LaAmistad on #GivingTuesdayNow, May 5th!
In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, a second #GivingTuesday date has been added to aid local communities. LaAmistad is so grateful for the opportunity to continue supporting its students and families through this incredible one-day giving event. On May 5th, please consider giving in any amount to support LaAmistad students and families using the link below!
Clairmont Afterschool Volunteers Providing Virtual Tutoring During Closures
The dedication and generosity of LaAmistad's community never cease to amaze us. At Clairmont Presbyterian Church, partnered with nearby Briar Vista Elementary, Afterschool students were making significant academic gains this year with the help of volunteer tutors and program staff. The encouragement and concept reinforcement they received two-days-per-week was producing quantifiable improvements in classroom performance, and helping students gain the confidence they need to succeed. Back in March, shortly after schools shut down, a group of long-standing student volunteers from Emory University School of Medicine expressed their desire to help students continue their educational growth, offering to tutor students virtually . Site Director, Sohnie Luckhardt, and Parent Liaison, Marisol Morales, were thrilled to accept, and began reaching out to families right away.

Once families were onboard, and volunteers introduced themselves via personal letters to parents, online tutoring sessions for Clairmont students were ready to begin. Emory volunteers helped flatten the technological learning curve, and have been generously giving their time tutoring online on Tuesdays. The first session took place on Tuesday March 31st. 12 students were able to participate.

Inspired by what could be accomplished tutoring students online, staff quickly sought to add a second day of instruction to the online offering. The goal was to provide the same high-quality support to students, despite the drastic change in circumstance.
"The first session went fairly well," said Morales, "I thought it might be a good idea to add a second tutoring session with some of the other Clairmont volunteers who had kindly let us know they would be happy to virtually tutor our students. We decided we should give it a try."

LaAmistad could not be more grateful for the hard work of its distinguished community of givers. Thank you for continuing to support Afterschool students and families through this difficult time.
The Suzanne W. Schirber Scholarship: Deadline May 31st
A scholarship fund established in loving memory of Suzanne W. Schirber, a former and dedicated LaAmistad volunteer. The scholarship supports incoming college freshman and current college LaAmistad students in pursuit of higher education.

Are you or a loved one a former LaAmistad Afterschool student? You may qualify to receive funds for school through LaAmistad's Suzanne W. Schirber Scholarship!

All eligible students are encouraged to apply. If you need any assistance when completing the application, please contact scholarship@laamistadinc.org .
Collecting Donations for Students and Families: Easing the Economic Impact of COVID-19
LaAmistad is collecting donations to be distributed directly to families on grocery store gift cards. This is the most impactful way we can help LaAmistad families during Covid-19. Click below to make a gift and help us continue to provide community support to those who need it most!
2020 Census Participation More Important Than Ever
For months LaAmistad has been encouraging the participation of the families it serves in the 2020 Census. In light of recent events, it is more critical than ever before that the Latino community be accurately represented in the data. Federal resource allocations, like the one designed to ease the economic impact of COVID-19, will be based on the collected data for the next ten years. As part of its partnership with the Latino Community Fund of Georgia, LaAmistad is doing its part to get the word out to Latino families throughout the state.

We must not forget that, even during this time of crisis, participation in the 2020 Census carries profound longterm implications for the students and families we serve. Click below for the latest information from The United States Census Bureau.
Success Spotlight: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Easter Bags for Families!
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