This is the first of our new e-newsletter series with monthly profiles of our families and updates on our programs.

The Morales-Linares Family from James Harrison Elementary spoke at our 
Annual Fundraising Breakfast on March 4th.

Maria Linares
Side by Side has really helped our family, through helping our son to do his school work. First grade was very easy, but when he entered second grade, they scared me a little because the teacher said it was the grade where students had to prepare themselves to do well in high school.

As a family, Great Start helped my husband and I to pay more attention to the homework and what is going on in the classroom. Henry has improved a lot in his grades, achieving an A, which he didn't have at the beginning of the year. The teacher told us he had improved a lot after we came to Great Start.

My kids love the dinner that Side by Side offers, because they like to eat pizza and get the family together. My husband tries to get home early from work that day; that way we can spend time as a family.

Henry Morales
I give thanks to God and to Side by Side because it has been a program that has helped me so much, as well as my wife and children. The Side by Side program has been very important. It's helping us to do what before we were unable to do with our children. We have learned through this program what the math standards are and what the reading standards are. And it's been very important because it wasn't easy for us to understand and know how to help our children at home.

The way Side by Side does it is through games. Games have more impact on the children because it's easier for them to learn.  It's very important to me that the program expands to other schools because it will have a greater impact with families such as ours.

Thanks to God and thanks to each of you donors; because of you, we are here and we are learning. Thanks to Mr. Joe, because he has been an important person also, and also the team that works with him - the interpreters, those who come to serve. This is something very important and very beautiful.  

On March 25, we hosted the first meeting of our new Advisory Council at City Hall. A table of some of Laurel's business leaders, faith leaders, principals, school officials, political leaders, and non-profit leaders spent their Saturday morning discussing our schools, our community, and the best ways that we can work together to celebrate  their accomplishments and support their needs. We look forward to improving our program and the greater community through this dynamic team of people.

Our Annual Ride & Stride is taking place April 29th at the beautiful National Wildlife Center. This year, we are offering a 30-mile ride, a 14-mile ride, and a fun hike for individuals and families. You'll enjoy the scenic landscapes of the Refuge, tucked away in the midst of the Baltimore-Washington metro area.  Registration is $25 and can be done online or by calling Joe at 202-710-5555.

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