Any first or third Thursday of the month one could visit Guadalupe School’s After School program and see a few adult volunteers dressed in business attire sitting with smiling Guadalupe children, as they read together or work on homework problems. The volunteers are employees from First Utah Bank, and they arrive twice a month to help our organization provide students with individualized tutoring and extra reading practice. This is incredibly valuable, especially for students whose parents may not speak or read English, and need extra support helping their children with homework and reading assignments in English.
Volunteering with the After School program is only one of many ways in which First Utah Bank supports Guadalupe School. The bank is a regular donor to Guadalupe’s programs, and sponsor at our fundraising events. Last year, First Utah not only contributed as one of the sponsors of our UNITE Benefit Concert, but also funded a televised news spot to help promote the event and Guadalupe School’s services. This year, the bank bought a table at our spring fundraiser, the THRIVE Benefit Dinner, where Brad Baldwin, First Utah’s President, and his wife attended and lent their support.
Guadalupe School is grateful for the generous support of First Utah, and is proud to bank with them, especially because they share our love of the immigrant community, and our commitment to helping those with international origins to be provided with opportunity. In 2005, First Utah Bank assessed the amazing diversity and international community of Salt Lake City, and decided they wanted to be more involved. This led them to open an international branch of the bank, where they have employed a diverse staff of immigrants who speak numerous languages, including Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Hindi, and Spanish. Jean John, First Utah Vice President, explained that the bank’s decision to hire international employees has allowed for unique trust from their customers, who appreciate that their bank “understands the culture of international customers, in addition to the language.” First Utah has also promoted several individuals from within the international branch over the years, adding to the overall diversity of perspective and leadership at the company.
Guadalupe School feels fortunate to share a strong partnership with a company that possesses a deep understanding of the wealth of knowledge and skills immigrants bring to any organization. We cherish the ongoing support of First Utah Bank, and look forward to many more years of working in unison to give back to the Salt Lake community.
Guadalupe School recently published a new video that helps explain our programs and mission. The video follows one of our families, who happen to be enrolled in four of our five programs! Meet Pascuala, and her sons Erik, Angel, Brian, and David, who are all progressing through the In-Home, Preschool, Charter School, and Adult Education programs. Watch their story below, and find out what it is that Guadalupe School does for its families!
Guadalupe School has been busy, busy, busy this Spring season, with all sorts of fun learning activities and events. Our organization holds the firm belief that it is of immense value to the individuals and families we serve, that they are exposed to the greater community, where they can become inspired and connected to the opportunities around them.
Charter students have recently benefited by learning from our community partners. Last month, Junior Achievement opened the doors of JA City to Guadalupe School, where 5th graders participated in the highly acclaimed Biz Town Program. Biz Town, "combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to this fully-interactive simulated learning facility." Guadalupe students were able to become employees and managers of various real-life Salt Lake City businesses for a day. One lucky girl even got to act as the Biz Town mayor, and give a speech! Students loved this hands-on experience, and learned a lot about how a community works, and what types of professions they can aspire to fulfill.
Even more recently, all students of the Guadalupe Charter School were able to meet and hear from two REAL soccer stars, Luis Silva and Jaoa Plata, at a school assembly. The players spoke in both English and Spanish about their origins in Mexico and Ecuador respectively, and how through hard work and determination they have been able to realize their dreams. They encouraged the students to value school and to remain disciplined. Their visit was sponsored by Cache Valley Cheese, who made a generous donation of $1,000 to support Guadalupe School.
Guadalupe families and staff feel so grateful for the community partnerships that allow our students amazing opportunities of learning and growth. Through our programs and the collaborations of trusted supporters, we are truly transforming lives through education!
This month, Guadalupe School had the honor of welcoming Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox and representatives of the Utah State Board of Education and the Utah Education Policy Center to tour our campus, hear from parents of Charter School students, and see our After School program in full swing.
Trisha Perry, Guadalupe School's After School Director, and her assistant Jamie Jensen, have worked tirelessly to create an experience that provides quality learning opportunities in many forms to After School students. Their willingness and effectiveness in collaborating with community volunteers and partners has allowed for things like science experimentation labs, music lessons, arts and crafts, and literacy camps to be included in After School education. Due to Trisha's hard work and enormous talent, Lt. Governor Cox was not disappointed with what he observed at Guadalupe School.
To begin the occasion, Executive Director of Guadalupe School, Richard Pater, welcomed the Lt. Governor and crowd by talking about how appreciative our organization is for the state funding that has allowed us to provide a high quality after school program to about half of our Charter students. He explained that especially for the population served at Guadalupe School, this is a huge benefit. Many Guadalupe School parents do not speak fluent English, and are unable to assist their children in the ways they would like to on homework that is in English. Additionally, many of them work long hours, sometimes at multiple jobs just to make ends meet for the family, and unfortunately do not have the luxury of being home with children after school in order to help.
The After School program provides Guadalupe students with an hour of homework assistance, followed up by an hour of extracurricular activities. Lt. Governor Cox was able to see a few of those activities, including a choir class, a violin class, and a tennis class. Guadalupe School is proud to be supported by community partners who have offered such services in order to better serve and stimulate Guadalupe School students.
Lt. Governor Cox and the other representatives who visited were very impressed with the good work Guadalupe School is doing. They especially enjoyed hearing from several parents who shared how fortunate they felt to have their children enrolled in various programs of Guadalupe, and even for some of them to be enrolled in the Adult Education program simultaneously.
Guadalupe School thanks Lt. Governor Cox and all of the other visitors for stopping in to see Guadalupe School programs in action, and to better understand our mission and services.
The night of our THRIVE Benefit Dinner was a grand fundraising success for Guadalupe School! Thanks to the support of nearly 200 community members, our organization was able to raise a large sum of funds that will go directly into the continued operation of Guadalupe's five academic programs.
The night featured fun silent and live auction items, jazz music by the extremely talented Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin Trio, and the very entertaining and warm emcee skills of KUTV 2News' Sterling Poulson.
Guadalupe School is so appreciative of the major support of the sponsors who were present that night, including the title sponsor, UBS Bank USA. Corporate sponsor groups and individual ticket purchasers alike supported our cause through their attendance, opportunity drawing purchases, and auction item purchases. It was incredibly fun for us to enjoy a night of celebration and entertainment, while providing an opportunity for friends of Guadalupe to change lives through their donations.
The night also included the debut of a new video, which features a local family who is enrolled in several of Guadalupe's programs, and which gives a clear explanation of the function of each of Guadalupe's five programs. We invite you to view it here, and to share the YouTube link with your friends, family, and coworkers.
We at Guadalupe would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all those who supported us the night of our THRIVE Benefit Dinner, to those who have supported in the past in any way, and to those who continue to support through donations of time, talent, and money. Without you, we would not be able to proudly declare that we are transforming lives through education.
At last week's assembly, where students were learning about their monthly theme, "Grit," one special employee of Guadalupe who has shown incredible grit and perseverance was celebrated for her 25 years of service. LaVelle Conner was welcomed to the front of the room to be awarded the school's mascot, a wolf, in the form of a small figurine by student leaders.
LaVelle has worked 15 years as a 2nd and 3rd grade paraprofessional, and 10 years as a special education paraprofessional, while simultaneously serving as the school librarian. She is loved by the students and families of the Guadalupe Charter School, as well as numerous staff who have interacted with her for over two decades.
When LaVelle took the paraprofessional Praxis test, she scored 100%, something she is personally very proud of. It's not surprising that in 2016 she was awarded the Special Education Paraeducator Award of 2016 by the Utah Annual Council for Children with Behavior Disorders (CCBD).
LaVelle has seen Guadalupe School more as a family than just a place she where she works. About her experience at Guadalupe, she commented, "Guadalupe School students and staff helped me cope with emotionally devastating events in my life, including divorce and death."
Reminiscing on her experiences being an instructor for so many years, LaVelle said, "I have been very fortunate to be associated with such excellent educators in my career here at Guadalupe school. It's been interesting to see kids I taught here come back with their high school diploma or even college diploma. That's the best part."
Regardless of when she decides to retire from official employment, LaVelle wishes to continue supporting her Guadalupe family as much as she can. She stated, "I will miss the people here so much that I intend to stay connected through volunteering and subbing."
We sure do love you LaVelle. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication!
Last week Guadalupe School charter students enjoyed one of our most fun annual traditions - Career Day! Each grade gets visited throughout the day by several community members who work in various fields. This year the presenters were from especially diverse industries. Women and men came to talk about their jobs as social workers, graphic designers, biochemists, software engineers, fashion designers, architects, dancers, and more!
Among the presenters were two members of Guadalupe School's Board of Directors, Alex Reyna and Steve Downing. Alex spoke about the importance of money and managing finances, and his career at Goldman Sach's. Steve Downing, who works at Telemundo Utah, talked to the kids about how the news gets produced. His presentation was especially cool, because many of our students and their families tune into Telemundo to get the news in Spanish!
Guadalupe School thanks its social work interns, Sarah Anderson and Jenny Hallisey, for coordinating Career Day this year. This event is of significant value to our organization because our mission is to transform lives through education. Transforming lives means allowing people young and old alike to see their potential, set goals for their future, and achieve those goals through academic success. Career Day allows Guadalupe students to interact with many examples of who they can become and what they can aspire to. Thanks to all of those who shared their knowledge and experiences on this special day, and helped inspire a rising generation of leaders!
Check out the video below to see Guadalupe kids do a fun dance exercise with one of the Career Day presenters.
This month Guadalupe School was proud to recognize 14 families who went above and beyond on completing their required volunteer hours of 10 hours per semester. These families did well beyond the minimum requirement, and have become some of the strongest pillars of our organization, especially when it comes to the charter school.
Maricella, the parent volunteer coordinator, arranged for a breakfast catered by Even Stevens, and invited the front office staff, Guadalupe's executive director, and the charter school principal to be present for the honors. Each recognized individual or family received a certificate and a small gift as Guadalupe School's way of saying thank you for their over-achievement.
Adriana Lopez clocked in the most hours of all the parents, doing 207 hours in just one semester! Although her full-time job is at Guadalupe School, Adriana dedicates her off time to continuing her service to the organization, by reading with students and helping out in the After School program (You can learn more about Adriana's story by watching this video).
Laura Garcia came in second with 166 hours logged. She and her husband, Jonatan, help in her child's kindergarten class. Their son at first had a hard time adapting to full time school, so the whole family - mom, dad, and grandma - stepped in to help with the transition, alternating visiting the kindergarten class. To the teacher's delight, they have ended up helping the entire class in things like library time, computer lab time, art class, and physical education.
Elishia Barajas was the third highest ranking parent volunteer, having completed 104 hours during the semester. She spends at least one day a week helping the office staff make copies, flyers, and ice packs for the student health room. She helps to decorate the various school bulletin boards for different learning themes and holidays, and is someone Maricella feels like she can call for any last-minute help.
Guadalupe School's charter program would not be what it is without the investment of parents through their time, energy, and talents. Our organization is immensely grateful for the many, many volunteer hours put in by moms, dads, siblings, and grandparents. Thanks to them for their belief in the Guadalupe School mission, and their actions that speak volumes! We appreciate the volunteer efforts of our Guadalupe families and community members.
This month Guadalupe School made a tradition out of a fun and casual fundraising event by executing our Love Guadalupe Movie Night for the second year in a row! The event is held at Brewvies Cinema Pub, where we rent out a theater room for friends of Guadalupe, and sell tickets to a Valentines movie and extra entries for exciting prize drawings. The program began with a short rundown of Guadalupe School's mission to transform lives through education, accompanied with impressive statistics and facts about our five academic programs. This was followed by a short video of an inspirational Guadalupe School story, and drawings for several prizes including a Grizzlies hockey suite for 16 people and a $150 Top Golf gift certificate! The audience then enjoyed a hilarious viewing of an old Valentines classic, The Proposal.
The most impressive part of the night was the fundraising portion of the program. Thanks to movie ticket sales, prior donations, and prize entry sales, Guadalupe School had already made about $3,000 to put towards our five programs. However, after asking the audience to make any additional donations they felt they could contribute through our text-to-give service, we ended the event having made $4,672!
We are so incredibly grateful for the generosity of the many people who donated and participated in our movie night fundraiser. Lives truly will be transformed through the programs that your contributions support. THANK YOU!
If you would like to show your support of Guadalupe School, please visit our donation page!
A lot of people know that Guadalupe School includes a grade school due to the name, but did you know that Guadalupe School is actually a nonprofit organization that encompasses FIVE different academic programs? Our mission is to transform lives through education; and we mean the lives of people of all different ages and in all different stages of life. That's why our programs run the gamut from infancy and early learning programs, to a grade school, to adult English and vocational courses. We want to transform lives all the way from babies up to senior citizens.
Our programs include In-Home, Toddler Beginnings, Preschool, Charter School, and Adult Education. Checkout the information below to learn more about each, and reach out with any questions!