As part of our storytelling at the Destinations Gala fundraiser last month, we debuted three new videos, highlighting families benefiting from programs at Guadalupe School. The first video introduces us to the Fuentes Family, consisting of Jessica, Julio, and their three children, each enrolled in various Guadalupe programs. Especially touching is the family's joint experience learning from their parent educator in the In-Home Program, over the course of six years! The next video highlights Fernando, a Guadalupe 6th grader, and his mom, Mercela. Both Fernando and Mercela are students at Guadalupe - one in the Charter School, and one in Adult Education. Mercela shares about her immigration story from Mexico, and Fernando tells of his awesome experience with Guadalupe's community partner, Tanner Dance. The third video focuses on Hamilton and his family, who are immigrants from Haiti. Hamilton is an enthusiastic Adult Education student with an entrepreneurial streak who is hoping to run his own party decor business in Salt Lake City. Scroll down and hit play to watch these incredible stories! If you like what you see, make sure to share on social media!
This month Guadalupe School held its largest annual fundraiser, the Spring Gala. This year our theme was "Destinations," signifying the many beautiful places Guadalupe families are from, and the many wonderful places they are headed due to successes reached through education.
In preparation of the fundraiser, we received some special help from a corporation our school works with closely. Verapath Global Investing is the company that manages Guadalupe 401k benefits, but they have also now become a valued volunteer force! Verapath sent several employees, including their CEO, Kent Misener, to help put together hundreds of party favors for the guests at sponsored tables of the Destinations Gala. We are so grateful for the help of volunteer groups like Verpath's team.
The Destinations Gala took place at The Rose Wagner Theater, and included a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner, live auction, and several pieces of entertainment. African drummer surprised guests by starting off the night with a bang, and were followed by Latin folklorico dancers, bagpipers, Polynesian dancers, and the headliner of the night - Salt Lake native Ta'u Pupu'a. Pupu'a especially wowed with his internationally acclaimed opera talent. The night was a huge success, pulling in Guadalupe friends from over 20 different sponsoring corporate groups. Together the community raised over $115,000 to put towards Guadaupe School's academic programs. We could not be more grateful for the support. It was a lovely event and we thank all who were involved. The funds raised will undoubtedly help us continue to transform lives through education.
Guadalupe School Charter students look forward to one especially colorful day of reading each year - Dr. Seuss Day! This year, although the holiday fell on Saturday, Guadalupe students celebrated during the week with a plethora of fun activities that helped them see the joy in reading and writing. Guadalupe School's After School program partnered with United Way and University of Utah sorority members to provide multiple workshops for students to rotate between. The children enjoyed coloring Dr. Seuss illustrations, playing educational games, and of course, listening to volunteers as they read Dr. Seuss books. The University of Utah volunteers even dressed up as Dr. Seuss and Thing 1 and Thing 2, in order to make the event especially fun. Overall, Guadalupe students, staff, and volunteers all appreciated the opportunity to celebrate reading, and the imagination and creativity that goes into sharing stories.
Fifth graders carried on an annual tradition this month by attending the Junior Achievement BizTown Program! BizTown, "combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to [JA City], a fully-interactive simulated learning facility." In preparation for the event, volunteers from American Express visited Guadalupe School to run mock interviews with students. The children dressed up in their professional best, and blew interviewers away with their wonderful answers. Some of the follow-up comments from adult volunteers included, "These students were prepared, enthusiastic and had a high energy level when they came to interview;" "I was impressed with how honest and open they were about sharing life experiences;" "I am so proud of this group of students! They were so brave and I never could have done what they did today when I was 11 years old."
A couple of days after interviews, the two classes traveled to JA City at Gateway. They enjoyed a speech from a student mayor, then become employees and managers of various real-life Salt Lake City businesses for a day. Adult volunteers helped teach the kids about workplace practices, management skills, and the day-to-day tasks of running a business!
Guadalupe School is so proud of all of our grade school students. They work hard and learn quickly in order to best prepare for future success. 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.
This month Guadalupe School's Executive Director, Richard Pater, had the pleasure of meeting with the Mexican Consul of Utah, José Borjón, and giving him a tour of the Guadalupe School campus. Consul Borjón expressed the seriousness with which the Consulate of Mexico takes education and community initiatives, especially for local Hispanic and Latino families. He relayed his hope of partnering with various elements of Guadalupe programs to provide value, whether by speaking at the 6th grade graduation ceremony, or providing resources and speakers to parent involvement committee meetings or Adult Education gatherings. Mr. Pater was proud to tour the Consul around the school, telling him how each program is represented and what it achieves. Consul Borjón generously gave Guadalupe School a parting gift: a full set of Mexican textbooks for the Adult Education portion of our library. Guadalupe School is proud to have hosted such a distinguished guest, and we cannot wait to see the good things we will accomplish together.
Last month Guadalupe School students and parents were able to enjoy some fun written correspondence with staff and board members. Many Adult Education students, Charter School parent volunteers, and one full class of fourth graders took the time to write letters to board members detailing why they like being a part of the Guadalupe School community.
One Adult Education student wrote, "I have been 1.5 years coming to English classes. It is good for me. I need English for my work and life. English helps me to communicate better. I like coming to the school and listening to the teacher and learning." One parent of a Charter School student said, "I want to thank you for all you do for this wonderful school. I am very proud of how my kids are doing academically. I really hope my kids all graduate from this school." A fourth grader explained, "Math is one of my favorite things to do at school. You can learn how to do it different ways, and it is fun to me."
When board members and staff leadership met for a Board Retreat in January, they took the time to respond to the letters written. They expressed their admiration for adults learning English, their gratitude to parents in the Charter School who care so much about the education of their children, and told fourth graders about their favorite school subjects and hobbies. Students received these responses, and were very excited to read through them.
This activity allowed for those benefiting from Guadalupe School's programs, and those who work hard to gather the support needed for them to continue, to connect on a more personal level. All involved felt it was a positive interaction, and emphasized the community effort that occurs at Guadalupe School in order to transform lives through education.
For the third year in a row, Juan Diego Catholic High School sent a team of capable seniors to complete a week of service at Guadalupe School. Each year, Juan Diego seniors choose a local charitable organization to assist for one week, instead of going to school. The kids practice leadership and team skills, and learn about the various issues facing communities that are being combatted through the collaborative efforts of organizations and their supporters.
In the past, Juan Diego seniors have run week-long reading camps, organized our second-hand uniform store, and created skits with 6th grade leaders for the back-to-school assembly. This year, they worked hand in hand with one of our learning resource directors to provide students with individualized tutoring while working on academic worksheets. The seniors also spent a lot of time in classrooms, ranging from kindergarten to 6th grade, assisting teachers and students in any way they needed. This year the back-to-school assembly did not take place during the week Juan Diego students were on campus; however, the seniors still took it upon themselves to create a fun educational video with 6th grade leaders, and then to present in each charter school classroom about personal academic experiences and professional aspirations.
Guadalupe teachers and staff were very impressed with the seniors and their willingness to help. Guadalupe's social worker remarked that the value of the high school students' time was not only that they helped with a variety of classroom and tutoring tasks, but also that they were positive role models for Guadalupe students. Kids at Guadalupe are constantly being encouraged to work to graduate from high school, and to aspire to higher education as well. Seeing older youth who value school, are applying to college, and have big dreams for future careers is something that many Guadalupe students will never forget. Thank you Juan Diego!
Guadalupe School 6th graders donned safety gloves and lab coats as they enjoyed a wonderful field trip at Nelson Labs. Nelson Labs executes over 700 microbiological and analytical laboratory tests in support of industries in the pharmaceutical tissue, and medical device fields. These test help mitigate the risks to medical clients and customers, as they are exposed to products each day that need to be sanitized.
The students learned about the types of scientists behind testing everyday products like bandaids and surgical equipment, helping us to stay safe and free from harmful bacteria and viruses. They were split up into five groups, and rotated between fun, educational stations. The activities included looking at bacteria through a microscope, using a blacklight to check medical equipment for cleanliness, and learning how to use sanitized tweezers to handle and test a bandaid for sterilization.
Guadalupe School encourages exposing students to the limitless possibilities they can look forward to when it comes to careers and learning. Thank you to Nelson Labs for providing a fun, educational environment for Guadalupe students to explore.
Every holiday season Guadalupe School is the recipient of multiple acts of service, organized and executed by wonderful members of our Salt Lake community. This year has been no exception - book and school supplies donations have poured in, our youth and adult tutors have continued their invaluable volunteering even during this busy time of year, and several organizations have organized to collect needed items and bring them to the school (read about Discover Card's awesome Thanksgiving-time service). Most recently Guadalupe School's Early Learning and Charter students have enjoyed some charitable gifts in the form of warm, fuzzy hats and brand new pairs of shoes!
The American Heart Association generously chose Guadalupe School as one of the recipients of its campaign to distribute knitted hats - a huge contribution to Guadalupe families, as the weather gets colder, and some families struggle to afford all of the new, warm clothing necessary for their children. The American Heart Association stated, "[We are] thrilled to contribute hats to the Guadalupe school as part of [our] “Little Hats, Big Hearts” campaign. These hats have been hand knitted with love and kindness from many volunteers throughout the state of the Utah to help raise awareness of heart disease in children. They are all red in color to represent love and serve as a reminder of heart health. It is never too early to be Heart Healthy. What better way to share love and kindness than to provide Little Hats for Little Kiddos so that they can feel warm and loved as they play outside being active and healthy."
In order to help warm Guadalupe kids all the way from their heads to their toes, Utah First Credit Union followed with a gigantic donation of brand new pairs of shoes for each and every one of our 300 K-6 Charter School students. This amazing service is a multi-year tradition, that always gets students beyond excited in anticipation. Utah First distributes the shoes in an especially fun way, by gift wrapping each shoe box individually in holiday paper, so that students can receive their gifts and open them together! We are so grateful for Utah First Credit Union's ongoing partnership and support of our organization. They have become an impactful part of the holiday season here at Guadalupe.
We are so grateful for the generosity shown during the holiday season, and all year round! Guadalupe School families and individuals benefit greatly from the charity of their fellow community members, and are so appreciative. Click the following links if you would like to support, through a monetary donation, in-kind donation, or volunteerism. Thank you!
For more than a decade, Guadalupe School has been privileged to share a highly supportive partnership with Ace Recycling and Disposal. The company is one of the biggest independent haulers in the Western United States, employs 200+ individuals, and runs approximately 100 trucks each day. They are also deeply committed to effective recycling practices and investing in a greener future for America.
Over the years, Ace Disposal has been exemplary in its multifaceted support of Guadalupe School. The company has long picked up Guadalupe’s recycling and trash at no charge, offsetting a significant expense for the School and allowing more funds to go straight to our academic programs. Ace has been a sponsor at numerous Guadalupe fundraising events. We love it when Ace folks are at our events! Most recently, Ace met with our Adult Education and Executive Directors to set up a system of making Guadalupe parents and adult education students aware of current job openings at Ace, which offers its employees great careers.
When asked about Ace's support of Guadalupe, Matt Stalsberg, owner and general manager, said, "We at Ace Disposal tremendously value our relationship with the Guadalupe School. Over the years we have seen a tremendous impact on the community. The model that Guadalupe has is so phenomenal, we can tell that the staff cares greatly for people. It is a privilege to do whatever we can to help and Ace truly enjoys it. Seeing how Guadalupe helps people is a real inspiration."
Guadalupe students are looking forward to a Spring 2019 field trip to Ace Disposal where they will learn about the use of renewable energy in a large scale industrial operation, how recycling works, and how big those trucks really are! We greatly appreciate our generous and involved partner, Ace Disposal, and thank them for the company’s longstanding commitment to Guadalupe School and its families.