Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on January 26, 2000 · Page 7
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 7

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 26, 2000
Page 7
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THE UKIAH DAILY JOUR Communit WEDNESDAY, JAN,. 26, 2000 —> Adult school a place where families can learn and grow A success story By ISAIAS TORRES J Adult School I was born in Zatnora, Michoacan. I went to school in Mexico until seventh grade. My dad migrated to the United States in 1982. My mom came in 1983 with my two younger brothers. I remained behind with my grandparents and my four other brothers and sisters. My mom sent for me in 1985.1 first-arrived in Concord and came to Ukiah, Aug. 25. On Sept. 7,1 started my first day of school at Redwood Valley Middle School. Not knowing any English, I was placed in a very special class with a migrant aide who worked daily with me and three others. Her name was Danny (Jimenez) Blankenship. She was instrumental in helping me learn English. She is a very special person to me even today. Because of her wonderful strategies and communication skills I was able to understand English within a year. During my two years at Redwood Valley Middle School, I had to be placed on Independent Study for about three months each year to help my dad work in the fields picking grapes and pruning pair trees. In my second year, at Redwood Valley, I was fortunate to be placed with Mr. Bliss for Math and Mrs. Yttreness for Reading. I also had Mr. Walsh for Woodshop. Each of these teachers were willing to take the extra time to help me and had the patience and willingness to assist me in understanding English. After graduating from Redwood Valley, high school was not an option. My parents felt I had a responsibility to work in the fields picking grapes, pruning pear trees, and assist financially with the raising of my younger siblings. A counselor from the high school Olga Navarez, convinced my parents to allow me to attend Ukiah High. For the next three years, along with attending Ukiah High School, I was working part time for Ron Pearson, a landscaper, in order to provide for myself so I wouldn't be a financial burden for my parents. During those four years at Ukiah High I was very fortunate to have the best teachers any one could have beginning with my Spanish teacher, Mrs. Keefe and Mr. Boynton, for World Cultures. Mrs. DiMartini, my ESL teacher was also influential during my freshman year. Mr. Lapotrej my math teacher, was very understanding about the language barrier I was faced with because he grew up in France. He really encouraged me to continue my education and was influential in my decision to become a teacher. Another reason I chose to go into education was seeing my friends struggle in current classes, mainly because of the language barrier, and be placed into classes they had already taken while in Mexico. They were frustrated but there was nothing they could do about it because of their inability to speak English. This was one of the reasons I felt I could make a difference in this community; by assisting people of my culture to speak the language and assist in furthering their education. In my junior year I was also very fortunate to have Mr. Cavendar. He was always there after school to help me with my math. I also had Mr. Lopez as my counselor. Mr. Lopez encouraged all students to further their education. He had a connection with Sacramento State University CAMP (College Assisted Migrant Program). During my senior year, a counselor from the program came to Ukiah High and recruited for the CAMP Program. This program is a special program which helps students meet the University Program requirements during the first year of admission. Mr. Lopez also arranged a lot of field trips to Universities such as Chico, Sacramento, and Stanford in order for students to find out about admission requirements. During my senior year I was having difficulty in geometry and I almost dropped the class entirely. However, I chose not to, and Mr. Bishop not only supported me, but he made the difference in my succeeding. He went out of his way and spent hours supporting me after school helping me to understand the concepts. These teachers I have spoken about assisted in defining, for me, the desire to become an educator and a desire to work with children. Due to the support of all my teachers I had gained the proficiencies to enroll at Sacramento State University. I attended Sacramento two years and due to financial difficulties I was forced to drop Isaias Torres spends his time teaching a family program at the Ukiah Adult School out and return to Mendocino College in Ukiah. I remained in Ukiah for three years and worked summers to save money in order to return to Sacramento State University. I received financial support as a MINI Corps .worker during this time period. I returned to Sacramento State University and spent the remaining three years finishing my BA degree and receiving my Multicultural and Multilingual Bilingual Credential. During the last semester of my credential I was offered a position in a long term Kindergarten Spanish immersion program in Woodland School District. I accepted the position, my first official paid teaching experience. I also taught .in the summer school program for Woodland- School District. The opportunity to return to my home community presented itself this summer when I was offered the position of Coordinator for the ' Ukiah Community Family Literacy Program- sponsored through the Ukiah Adult School. This position offers me an opportunity to ndt'•- only help bilingual and at risk students but 'to . work with their families as well. I believe as 1 a"' Ukiah Unified educator, the opportunity will' present itself for me to make a difference in the ' lives of students and their families, the way teachers in this district made a difference in riiy'' life. /'I Family learning center open Ukiah Community Family Literacy Center is now open Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 6 p.m., at the Ukiah Adult School. This is a 21st Century Family Literacy Program funded through federal government grant monies. The focus of this program is to provide a quality academic after-school program fpr children and their families. The Ukiah Community Family Literacy Center will concentrate on children at risk of failirigJlThe core piitigram will provide 30 minutes, pf quality time, each,day. ini tbe.foUowing areas: reading, homework, technology, cultural activities, and interactive journal writing and story telling. The parent program will offer reading, public health and technology classes. Cost-free child care is available to parents participating in this program for children ages six Weeks to five years. A free snack will be included for all participants. In addition, ESL will be provided daily, on site, for both adults and children in need. Parent participation and regular attendance are a vital component to the success of the Family Literacy Center. The ratio of adults/tutors to children will be one adult to six children. Volunteers are welcome! Parents: contact either your child's teacher or the Ukiah Adult School (Isaias Torres, program coordinator or Gay Tow, program director, can be reached at 463-5217) for the referral process for the literacy after-school program. This Family Literacy Center will serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade while high school students may utilize Room 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. to work on homework. A credentialed bilingual teacher, Carolina North is providing the ESL and reading component to parents, a computer technician provides the computer aspect and a credentialed, early childhood teacher coordinates the child care program. Tutors from MINI Corps, MESA, and AmeriCorps are part of the Family Literacy Staff. They are also looking for volunteers. Child care program available at the Adult School The Ukiah Adult School has a child care program from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. This service is available to any student enrolled in Adult School classes: GED, Nursing, ESL, High School Diploma, and Citizenship. The program will-include three options for fee payment: scholarship fee (free daily fee in exchange for the student participating in a parenting class on Monday evening or Friday morning), subsidized program (paid for by Cal Works, NCO, or any state funded program), or a nominal fee. There will be a one-time registration fee of $25 per family, for all students. There will be no academic programs offered on Fridays. The focus of the parenting classes will be infants, toddlers, and young parents. However, if an interest presents itself in other areas, such as "Parenting as a Father" the program will adjust to cover this subject. The goal is to design a program around the needs of the students. Staff includes: Kellie Thein, child care director, Susan Holcomb, associate teacher, and Carolina North, associate teacher. Retired or older volunteers are needed. For more information or to register, please call Kellie Thein, Child Care Director, or Gay Tow, Program Director at 463-5217. Retirement Planning Employee Benefits Estate Planning Tax Planning FINANCIAL RESOURCE SOLUTIONS Tax, Retirement, & Estate Planning Services BARBARA REID CFP, EA 462-4060 or 1-800-559-5377 419 Suite L Talmage Rd Ukiah PARDUCCI 'V, JA 97 NUARY'S WINE OF THE MONTH *-" CHARBONO Now 1/2 Price i *64 50 Case SAUVIGNON BLANC $4350 Case Bring your.guests to the friendliest „„ pasting room in town! PARDUCCI WINE ESTATES 501 Parducci Road Lake Mendocino Exit off llwy. 101 - head U/cst 707-462-WINE Open Non-Sat: 10-5 pin Sun: 10-4 pm WANTED OUTLAW STOVES Open Your Home To A Girl or Boy BECOME AN ADOPTIVE PARENT (TO?) »M-»OOO OWIfeMl D»pt. Of 809111 BtlVIOM $ 200 TRADE-IN ON GAS OR PELLET *100 WOOD STOVES 15 INSTALLATION AVAILABLE "WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL" HOME TOWN STOI 3301 North Stile St, Ukiah • 462-2874

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