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Image for Bienvenidos outreach events highlight assistance to new families from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
Hillsborough County Public Schools welcomed more than 1,000 students from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean after Hurricane Maria ravaged their islands.¡Bienvenidos!

Bienvenidos outreach events highlight assistance to new families from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

May 14, 2018

Following Hurricane Maria, Hillsborough County Public Schools welcomed over 1,000 students from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.  Via the Bienvenidos Puerto Rico y Caribe community outreach events, more than 370 students and their families have been served by providing a connection to district and community resources.  The events were held in three different geographical areas of the district, including Brandon in January, North Tampa in March and the latest event which was held in April in Town 'N' Country, since these were some of the areas where many of the affected families had come to live.

Watch Bienvenidos Puerto Rico y Caribe video

According to Araseli Martinez-Peña, Ed.S., Hispanic and Multicultural Outreach Coordinator, "The Hillsborough County Public Schools Bienvenidos Puerto Rico and Caribbean Community Outreach events created avenues of access and support for many students and families."  She added that, "We are very proud that those served left their events more informed in navigating district and community resources and better prepared for school, with smiles of gratitude."

Families who attended the first event left with these expressions of appreciation that included comments such as magnifico (magnificent), muy bonito (very beautiful), espectacular (spectacular), nos trataron con tanta amabilidad (we were treated with so much kindness), recibi informacion y orientacion que no tenia (I received information and orientation that I did not have) and muy bien organizado (very well organized)!"

In unity with other community organizations and volunteer efforts at each of the three events, the school district provided access to health screenings, school supplies, bilingual literacy, employment opportunities, after-school programs, adult education, student nutrition, workforce connections, postsecondary options, special education guidance and a workshop on navigating the school system in bilingual format.  In order to be able to provide these services for Puerto Rican and Carribbean families, the district relied strongly on the support provided by dozens of community partnerships.  Sincere thanks and deep appreciation go out to the following resources and partners:

Ana G. Mendez University System

 

Hispanic Services Council

Build-a-Bear

 

Israel's House

Care Plus Health Plans

 

Latino Coalition

Career Source

 

Leap TampaBay

Children's Board Family Resource Centers

 

LULAC

Department of Health

 

Mi Patria Bakery

Early Learning Coalition

 

MyOn

Family Health Care Foundation

 

Project Link 

Florida Family Primary Care Centers

 

Prospera

Florida Medical Clinic

 

Sam & Laurice Hachem Foundation Boys & Girls Club

Florida Migrant Education Program

 

Somos Puerto Rico

Hillsborough Education Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

For an even deeper insight into the way that HCPS has worked to make their new Puerto Rican and Caribbean students feel more comfortable and successful in school, read the article by Stavros AgorakisMila Jasper and Anna Laffrey in Sojourners online magazine.

If you or someone you know is living here as a direct result of Hurricane Maria and may need assistance from the school district, please contact Araseli Martinez-Peña,  Ed.S., Coordinator, Hispanic & Multicultural Outreach at  Araseli.Martinez-Pena@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

EVENTOS DE BIENVENIDA APOYAN A NUEVAS FAMILIAS DE PUERTO RICO Y EL CARIBE

Las escuelas públicas del Condado de Hillsborough han recibido a más de 1000 estudiantes de Puerto Rico y el Caribe desde huracán Maria. A través de tres eventos comunitarios llamados Bienvenidos Puerto Rico y Caribe, más de 370 estudiantes y sus familias han recibido recursos del distrito y la comunidad. Los eventos se llevaron a cabo en Brandon en enero, North Tampa en marzo y Town n’ Country en abril donde las familias afectadas han llegado a vivir.  

Según Araseli Martinez Peña, Ed.S., Coordinadora del Alcance a la Comunidad Hispana y Multicultural para el distrito dice, "los eventos fueron creados con la visión de establecer avenidas de acceso y apoyo a nuestros estudiantes y sus familias. Estamos muy orgullosos que las familias que asistieron se fueron más informadas de los recursos a su disponibilidad y mejor preparados para la escuela, con una sonrisa de gratitud."

Las familias compartieron su agradecimiento expresando que el evento fue, “¡magnifico, muy bonito, y espectacular!”  Dicen “¡nos trataron con tanta amabilidad, recibí información y orientación que no tenía y fue muy bien organizado! "

En unidad con organizaciones y voluntarios de la comunidad, el distrito escolar aseguro que familias tuvieran acceso a exámenes de salud, artículos escolares, libros y recursos de alfabetización bilingüe, oportunidades de empleo, programas después de la escuela, educación para los adultos, recursos de nutrición y alimentos, opciones de educación superior, apoyo para educación especial y un taller acerca de cómo navegar el sistema escolar en formato bilingüe.

Para poder proveer estos servicios para las familias de Puerto Rico y el Caribe, el distrito, con mucho agradecimiento, conto con el apoyo de las siguientes organizaciones:

Ana G. Mendez University System

 

Hispanic Services Council

Build-a-Bear

 

Israel's House

Care Plus Health Plans

 

Latino Coalition

Career Source

 

Leap TampaBay

Children's Board Family Resource Centers

 

LULAC

Department of Health

 

Mi Patria Bakery

Early Learning Coalition

 

MyOn

Family Health Care Foundation

 

Project Link 

Florida Family Primary Care Centers

 

Prospera

Florida Medical Clinic

 

Sam & Laurice Hachem Foundation Boys & Girls Club

Florida Migrant Education Program

 

Somos Puerto Rico

Hillsborough Education Foundation

 

 

Para una entendimiento aún más profunda en la manera en que el distrito ha trabajado para asegura la bienvenida a nuestras escuelas, lea el artículo por Stavros Agorakis, Jaspe de Mila y Ana Laffrey en la revista Sojourners. (https://sojo.net/articles/how-florida-schools-adopted-puerto-rican-students-after-hurricane.

Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está viviendo aquí como un resultado directo del huracán María y necesite asistencia con asuntos académicos para sus hijos, por favor de contactar a Araseli Martinez-Peña, Ed.S., Coordinadora del Alcance a la Comunidad Hispana y Multicultural en araseli.martinez-pena@sdhc.k12.fl.us

 

 

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