June 2021
In this issue: Anímate In-Person, ESL Volunteer Interview, New Summer Academy Starts in July, LaAmistad Annual Gala, We're Hiring, Urban Recipe, Jesse Parker Williams Foundation, Anímate Arts and Crafts
LaAmistad's Anímate Summer Academy Returns with Renewed Purpose
This month saw the highly anticipated return of LaAmistad's Anímate Summer Academies on the campuses of The Westminster Schools and St. Martin's Episcopal School. While 2020's iteration of Anímate managed to help students find academic success through a virtual platform, reading and math fluency scores each improved by an average of 14% over four weeks, its return to physical classrooms has shown that there is truly no substitute for the confidence and sense of community built by the traditional summer camp activities for which the academies are also famous. Through team sports, arts and crafts, and hands-on STEM projects, Anímate's in-person return represents the restoration of LaAmistad's empirically proven holistic education model, promising even greater academic gains for participating students.

A third Anímate Summer Academy will enter its first year of operation this July at Peachtree Church, aimed at stemming summer learning loss for a greater segment of LaAmistad's student population in the wake of a turbulent and unusual school year.

Counselors, volunteers, and those with a desire to help local Latino students hold on to their academic progress are encouraged to get involved and make a difference. Click the button below to read more about LaAmistad's Animate Summer Academy.
LaAmistad ESL Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Avinash
An energetic and collaborative educator, Avinash Palliyil has served with LaAmistad ESL since August, 2020. Acutely aware of the correlation between classroom confidence and positive outcomes for adult learners, Avinash, known affectionately as Avi, goes out of his way to ensure that students are comfortable in the environment in which they've come to learn. "I always make a conscious effort to get to know my students," said Avinash, "[I try to] ensure [that] they feel comfortable participating in class and asking questions." His students love him, and greatly appreciate his efforts to equip them with English fluency skills that will serve them well into the future. Read more about Avi and his experience as an ESL volunteer below!

What gives you the drive to put in all those hours?

The single biggest motivator is seeing the growth and success of my students. Learning a new language is a difficult task, and it can be hard for students to really make progress if they don't feel like they are in a comfortable environment to speak, make mistakes, and learn. To be able to see their progress afterwards really makes it all worthwhile for me.

What, in your view, are the main benefits of the LaAmistad ESL Program?

One of the main benefits I think of the LaAmistad ESL program is the amount of resources offered in Ventures books. The books give a great structure to learning the language, especially for the basic level learners that I teach. The books offer lessons on everything from vocabulary to grammar and pronunciation, which are accompanied with audios, allowing students to practice according to their needs. For tests, I also can provide a great deal of individual feedback. Through online tests using Google Forms, I can provide individual feedback to students and link online resources to various topics that they may be struggling with. Thus, even after covering a lesson, they can refer back to additional resources on a topic they may have struggled with. Lastly, the students can also ask questions that they have in general about the English language, customs, etc. that aren't necessarily covered in the lesson. Both I think are very important to learning English well, and that's something volunteer teachers within the ESL program provide in addition to the Ventures resources. 

Is there a student (or students) in your class who made progress that surprised you?  

All my students have impressed me. It's difficult to compare everyone because everyone has their own goals and reasons for improving their English speaking, but seeing them make significant progress on their goals in just a few short weeks impresses me every time. 
Want to help adult learners improve their English fluency and change their lives? Sign up to be a LaAmistad ESL volunteer teacher for Spring Session! Use the button below to get involved!
Student Awarded The Suzanne W. Schirber LaAmistad Scholarship
Longtime LaAmistad Afterschool Student, Gabriela Oliveros has been selected as one of the recipients of The 2021 Suzanne W. Schirber LaAmistad Scholarship. Entering her second year of study at George Washington University, Gaby returned home this summer to intern with LaAmistad's administrative team.

Established in loving memory of Suzanne W. Schirber, a former and dedicated LaAmistad volunteer, the scholarship supports support incoming college freshman and/or current college LaAmistad students in their pursuit of higher education.
LaAmistad's Newest Anímate Summer Academy at Peachtree Church
For the first time, LaAmistad is adding a third Anímate Summer Academy session this summer at Peachtree Church. In response to the enhanced need for additional educational resources brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, LaAmistad felt it had an obligation to serve as many students as possible. By melding daily academic reinforcement activities with traditional summer camp fun, LaAmistad's Anímate Summer Academy aims to help students make up the ground lost during distance learning, and send them into the new year prepared for success. LaAmistad is looking for teachers and counselors to help with its camp at Peachtree! Visit https://laamistadinc.org/Programs/Summer to find out how you can get involved!
July 6th - July 29th
Monday - Thrusday
7:45am - 2:00pm
Tickets and Sponsorships for LaAmistad Annual Gala Now Available!
Support our Heroes September 25th, 2021
An elegant evening of dinner, a silent auction, and celebrating community heroes is set for September 25th! Join us at the Four Seasons Hotel as we celebrate the amazing people making a difference in Atlanta's Latino community. Purchase your tickets and sponsorships below, and help us celebrate the heroes of our community!
Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
September 25, 2021
Cocktail Reception: 6:30 pm
Dinner: 7:30 pm
LaAmistad is Hiring!
If you’re interested in providing underserved students educational opportunities and enjoy the fast-paced world of nonprofit work, we’d like to meet you! We offer a vibrant team governed by a set of steadfast core values: Kindness, Excellence, Passion, Teamwork, and Perseverance.

Join us as we strive to fulfill our mission to prepare Latino students and families for success through academic and life-enrichment programs. Use the buttons below to see more of LaAmistad's available employment opportunities!
Urban Recipe, LaAmistad Partner for
Bi-weekly Food Delivery
With things beginning to get back to normal for the majority of the country, many LaAmistad families remain deeply affected by the consequences of the global pandemic from which we are only now recovering. Many families lost significant household income as a result of shutdowns, leaving them in the unenviable position of needing to make up the difference to remain afloat.

LaAmistad is proudly continuing its partnership with Urban Recipe, and will supply donated foods and supplies to participating families on a bi-weekly basis throughout the summer. Locations will be served on a rotating basis, with each participating family eligible to receive one 25 lb. box of frozen ingredients and one 25 lb. box of dried meal ingredients.

Food security at home is a major factor in the academic performance of students, and LaAmistad is extremely grateful to Urban Recipe for their partnership and support as we strive to prepare students for success. Click below to learn more about Urban Recipe!
Jesse Parker Williams Foundation Awards LaAmistad $75K for Literacy, Early Education
LaAmistad received the support of the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation this month in the form of $75K in grant funding. Support will be released over the next 3 years, and will focus on those efforts most critical to ensuring student success post-pandemic. Funds will be used to seed LaAmistad's emerging early education initiative, as well as support literacy efforts aimed at improving classroom outcomes for the students LaAmistad serves. Click the button below to learn more about the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation.
Success Spotlight: Anímate Campers Let Creativity Shine with Arts & Crafts Projects
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