Bilingual Education and Support Groups
UP’s Educational Groups help women gain self-esteem, life skills, language and functional literacy. The women attend 4 mornings/week, September to June and work on English, reading, writing, and math. Included in the 2 year-curriculum are a wide-range of topics – geography, government, money management, health, nutrition, community resources. Most participants have less than 9 years formal education, many have less than 6 years; all lack functional literacy in English. The education they gain at UP prepares them to enter traditional ESL classes and enables them to help their school-age children. The Educational Groups serve 50 women, ages 21 through 60, each year.
Early Childhood Program – Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
Our children’s program is truly unique. In rooms adjacent to where moms are learning, children, 6 months to 5 years, sing, dance, paint, play and laugh their way to school readiness. They come together with their mothers during a mid-morning nutrition break prepared by the moms. Teachers are past participants who prepare age-appropriate lesson plans which promote communication, socialization, and language skills; they help mothers on a daily basis to learn constructive activities to do at home. The Children’s Program serves 30 preschoolers.
Family Activities and Educational Workshops
UP sponsors frequent activities for families – educational and environmental field trips to museums, mountains and deserts; potlucks and events in nearby city parks; visits to South Mountain College, ASU, Ocotillo Library. We also have evening workshops on topics of interest to spouses and community members; these include parenting, workers’ rights, financial literacy, voting, community issues. The activities provide opportunities for families to come together, break social isolation, and build community networks and are attended by approximately 250 people.
Social Services and Advocacy
Mothers frequently face barriers to education such as medical/dental problems, domestic abuse, housing needs. We maintain an updated Community Resources Handbook which is reviewed and available in the Educational Support Groups. Assistance, advocacy, and referrals are provided as needed by UP staff. The Rio Verde Christmas project makes a significant contribution to helping families with housing, clothing, and financial needs.
GED Preparation and Testing in Spanish
This class is not being offered in the 2007-08 academic year.
This class provides extra practice on phonics, reading comprehension, dictionary and library skills to parents enrolled in the Education Groups. Parents are encouraged to check out books from our Parent/Child library to read at home with their children; parents and children learn reading skills together. The groups meet 2 afternoons/week and serve 15 women each year.