As Tammy Alvarado
found out Thursday night, it does take a computer, a few contacts and initiative to do something about it. On Thursday, Alvarado, owner of the Community Education Center and bilingual instructor in Spanish and English, held a meeting to determine how free, bilingual parenting classes could be developed in Grand Island.
"I want to put our anger to good use tonight because right now, we're angry," Alvarado
told the 15 or so gathered in her
office at the Elm Street Plaza Thursday."This meeting is the beginning."
The meeting drew those who had training in parenting issues, nonprofit organization employees and concerned citizens.The goal of the meeting, Alvarado
said, was not just to develop a plan of action, but to use connections and passion to get the ball rolling on the project.
The idea of putting together a task force to hopefully produce free, bilingual parenting classes for the community was Alvarado's
, based on her
experience with the Latino community.By extension, she
said, those who have knowledge of other ethnic groups in the community can help evaluate if parenting classes are a needed resource.
The consensus Thursday night was that parenting classes are needed, and soon.
Of the topics discussed in the first part of the meeting, how to fund the project, how to get others involved, how to provide both trained personnel who were bilingual and how to convince those of different cultures to attend such a class were the biggest topic of conversation.
"A good idea I've heard on that is to do it through the church," Alvarado
offered to either help train those who would give the parenting classes or translate. Alvarado
didn't think it would be difficult to get others involved in the next couple of weeks.
"A lot of people told me I couldn't come tonight, but I want to be part of this," Alvarado
said."I expect we won't have much trouble convincing people to help us out on this."
Other issues discussed include multicultural comprehension, how to market and advertise the classes, what style the classes should take and how to deal with a lack of bilingual trainers.
Toward the end of the meeting, Alvarado
felt the first step had been taken toward making a difference in Grand Island
"Are we a task force now?"she