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EL AMANECER

The Newsletter of

THE SPANISH AMERICAN CENTER

September, 2022 

 A RECAP OF SUMMER ACTIVITIES AT THE SPANISH AMERICAN CENTER FROM DIRECTOR NEDDY LATIMER


Sending greetings to all from Puerto Rico where I am enjoying some rest after a very busy and successful summer at the Center. Here are but a few of the events we offered:


  • The Verano Alegre/Summer Fun program lasted for 7 weeks this summer and ended with a celebratory Block Party with terrific music, delicious food, activities for kids and a chance for adults to enjoy a meal together and enjoy the day. I must thank Donata Martin, Coordinator of the summer program, who put together a rich mix of fun, education and connection. With about 80 children participating just at the Center campus, we reached an attendance level even higher than the days before COVID entered our lives. 
  • Maria Vasquez, Storyteller and teacher, treated the kids to confidence and cultural pride building exercises. We are grateful for her presence. Thanks also to the Health Equity Partnership (CHNA #9) who provided funding for the consultancy of Maria Vasquez. 
  • We also had a surprise visit from Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early who came to visit the summer program and presented us with a check for $10,000 to use towards the behavioral health services we are integrating into our Crossroads Afterschool Program.


We are ready to launch into the Fall and the challenges and successes that lie ahead. 


Happy Autumn to all!


Sincerely,


Neddy


Neddy Latimer, Executive Director

Spanish American Center

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH


From September 15 through October 15, join the HHS Office of Minority Health during #HispanicHeritageMonth to learn and celebrate HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH and the diversity of culture within the Hispanic/Latino community.


Visit www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/hispanic-heritage-month to learn more.

A Visit from Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.

 "We are honored to support the Spanish American Center, Inc. and their mental health program! Mental health affects all aspects of our lives, including our physical wellbeing, jobs, families, and communities. We hope these funds help support those in need and provide resources to change the lives of others."- Joseph D. Early Jr., Worcester County District Attorney's Office

Thank you, DA Early, for your funding of $10,000 for The Spanish American Center!

Verano Alegre

SUMMER 

YOUTH

ACTIVITIES

2022

The summer sped by quickly and so did our popular

six-week summer program, Verano Alegre.


The program began June 27th and ended August 12th, Monday- Friday 9am to 5pm. Enrollment was 105 and counting the 12-summer employed youth funded by MassHires/Youthworks and the Office of DA Joseph Early, Jr., a total of 117 youth participated. All 117 received breakfast, lunch, and a snack in the afternoon as part of the Summer Eats free meal program.

 

Donata Martin, a consultant with the Spanish American Center, said some offerings will focus on STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.


“We’ll have arts and crafts,” she explained. “We’re going to have storytelling. The kids are going to use their book lists from the summer, and we’re going to try and get the books, have some book clubs and get their reading done. And then we’re going to supplement that with some other readings, some art, some journaling, some more outdoor activities.”


Also being offered this summer will be athletic activities such as basketball, hiking and bicycling, according to Martin.


“The Police Department donated bikes,” she said, “and so next week the junior staff will be learning how to repair and will be repairing the bikes for the summer program, so all the kids will have a chance to ride. And then there are some doctors in the community that have donated helmets, so each one of the children will be able to have their own helmet [and] be able to take those home.”


A big part of the Summer Youth Program, which the Spanish American Center has offered for more than two decades, is free breakfast and lunch — a big help for kids who ordinarily depend on school for one or two meals out of their day.


“They’ll have a nutritious and healthy breakfast, and the same with lunch,” Spanish American Center Executive Director Neddy Latimer said. “Because I don’t believe in sandwiches. It’s hot meals. That’s why we have gotten very popular.”


Below are some photos capturing the children's participation at various events:

Bikes donated by the Leominster Police Department.

Helmets donated by Dr. Fernando Catalina  


DISCOVERY MUSEUM TRIP

SAC AT COMMUNITY FOOD FORUM

September 1, 2022 Leominster, MA 


Migdalia Velez of the Spanish America Center (left) and Alex Welch of Making Opportunity Count (right) speak at Growing Places in Leominster on Friday, Sept. 1, 2022. The SAC and MOC partner to provide homebound meals to families in need.


Below: Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02, left) and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra (right) at Growing Places in Leominster on Friday, Sept. 1, 2022. Joined by a number of local organizations designed to address food insecurity and education, McGovern and Becerra celebrated those organizations and stressed the importance of addressing those issues at the federal level.


Read more here By SHANE RHODES | srhodes@lowellsun.com | Sentinel & Enterprise


(Photos -Shane Rhodes/Nashoba Valley Voice)

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 SAC Co-Sponsors monthly Covid-19 vaccine clinics-

incentives include free grocery cards, test kits, masks and educational materials. Watch our Facebook posts for future clinics!


Our next clinic will be at Iglesias Dios Pentecostal,

276 Water St, Fitchburg MA

on September 28, from 1 - 4 p.m.

POSTERS BELOW


We are also scheduled for October 26 at the Bigelow Community Room, Free

Public Library, 54 Walnut St., Clinton, MA, 01510, from 10 - 3 p.m.

Upcoming Mobil Uruguayan Consulate at SAC

November 2, 2022

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SAC Welcomes New Directors

BRIAN SCALES


Brian has worked at RCAP Solutions for over 14 years and was appointed President & CEO in July of 2022. He holds degrees from Florida Atlantic University, The University of Central Florida, and Cambridge University. RCAP Solutions helps improve access to housing and safety throughout Central Massachusetts.

MARIBEL CRUZ


Maribel Cruz is the Economic Development Manager at the NCMDC / Chamber of Commerce. She previously worked for the City of Gardner as the Economic Development Coordinator and prior to that, worked in business banking in the region for nearly 20 years.

Lesly Borges


Lesly is the Domestic Violence Liaison for the Leominster Police Department. Her work brings her into close partnership with the Domestic Violence Support Program at the Spanish American Center.

Breana Buckley


Breanna is a Health Educator with the CDC Foundation (Centers for Disease Control.) The CDC Foundation mission is to mobilize philanthropic and private sector resources to support the CDC's critical health protection work. 

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UWNCM Awards over $1 Million in Grants to Local Agencies


Grants Distributed to 44 agencies through Community Impact Fund and After School and Out-Of-School Time Program


United Way of North Central Massachusetts (UWNCM) has distributed $1,151,063 in funds to 44 local agencies through two grant programs. The grants will support programs that target pressing community needs and offer after school and out-of-school time activities for children and youth.


Through its Community Impact Fund for 2022-23, UWNCM awarded $599,663 to 30 organizations, funding 40 programs. The Community Impact Fund is a long-standing UWNCM initiative that supports programs that address the region’s highest priorities in the areas of Early Education and Youth Development, Basic Needs and Economic Opportunity/Financial Literacy.


This year’s grants are expected to create positive impacts for nearly 70,000 people, spanning the entire North Central Massachusetts region. Recipients range from Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Devens to the Wendell Clark YMCA in Winchendon-- and we are happy to acknowledge that THE SPANISH AMERICAN CENTER, INC. has been included as a recipient for BOTH of these distributions. We wish to express our gratitude to THE UNITED WAY OF NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS for these funds.

 ESL PROGRAM UPDATES

Thanking Maria Pernerewski

After many years teaching ESL classes at the Center, Maria Pernerewski is leaving us. She will be moving to Florida to enjoy the year-round warm weather. Many students have passed through her class, gaining English skills that have helped them in many ways: better employability, more education opportunities, the ability to help their children with schoolwork. Equally important has been the growth in their self-esteem.  We will miss her, and we wish her well!

Please watch our Facebook page for updates.


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