Latino Education Institute

  • Latino Education Institute Programs

    The Latino Education Institute of Worcester State University offers a variety of programs for Worcester’s Latino youth and their families to ensure the success of children in school and in our community. Evidence demonstrates positive benefits for student learning when parents and families are engaged in their children’s education.

    For young Latino children, many of whom have parents with limited English language proficiency and low levels of education, parent engagement strategies can strengthen their school success and achievement. Our data shows that early learning programs have the unique potential to equip parents with the tools to better support their children’s learning and success in their educational experience.

    Our 13 core programs are:

  • Club Educatión (Club E)
    Club Educación (Club E) promotes parental involvement in children’s education by engaging parents in English-as-a-Second-Language classes that enhance English literacy and communication skills. Parents also participate in training in the areas of computer, financial, and health literacy through a serious of seasonal workshops.

    Club E strives to increase the educational levels of parents and adults in order to fully realize the overall academic goals of the entire family. This program promotes a strong family involvement component and provides on-site academic support to the children of participants.
    The Encouraging Latinos to Achieve Excellence (ENLACE) program provides resiliency development and education planning for at-risk middle-school boys. It focuses on personal development, mentoring, life skills, cultural enrichment, early college awareness, career exploration, and sports clinics. Latino male leaders from the community serve as mentors and role models.

    Through various workshops and activities, boys engage in opportunities that help them exercise discipline and learn about themselves, culture, and the Worcester community. They also learn the value of education and how aspiring for postsecondary education can impact their lives and their families.
    Envision You
    Envision You is a theatre and media arts program at North High School in Worcester for English Language Learners who want to improve their literacy skills with a live theatre performance and documentary about their lives.
    Exploring My Environment
    Exploring My Environment is an experiential learning program that uses environmental science lessons to help middle-school students who are learning English broaden their knowledge about their community and the world.
    Family Academies
    Family Academies are intensive workshops and mini-conferences typically held as a series of seminars at a school or on weekends on the WSU campus. We bring participants together to learn about specific topics, including parent burnout, communicating with children, parental rights, healthy habits, and early college awareness.

    Academies are open to the public and offer participants an opportunity to engage, network, and build a community of support. The format responds to family need through bilingual delivery, childcare, and topic selection geared toward areas of greatest interest.
    In Our Own Voices
    In Our Own Voices increases literacy for English language learners through drama using folktales to produce a performance for family and friends.
    Innovative Services for Latino Achievers (ISLA)
    Innovative Services for Latino Adolescents (ISLA) is an academic after-school program for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at Chandler Magnet Elementary School and the Goddard School in Worcester. It focuses on the development and enhancement of early English literacy skills.

    ISLA provides time for homework help, academic classes in literacy and mathematics, and mentorship. Students also participate in arts and crafts, field trips, and other recreational activities throughout the year. This program works to dovetail the school curriculum by adding additional support and instruction.
    Latina Achievers in Search of Success (LASOS)
    Latina Achievers in Search of Success (LASOS) engages Latina girls in the 6th grade and their mothers each year in an educational after-school program that focuses on self-exploration, personal development, cultural enrichment, early college awareness, and career exploration. The program enlists the assistance of area Latina professionals to serve as mentors to the daughter-mother dyad.

    Through educational workshops, participants learn about themselves, their uniqueness, their culture, their values, and their bodies. The girls learn how to build stronger relationships with their mothers and friends as well as new relationships with their mentors. Participants also are exposed to the value of education and how college and the professional world can greatly impact their economic future.
    Latino Family College Fair
    The Latino Family College Fair is a college fair held in collaboration with CollegeBoard, Worcester Public Schools, and Worcester State University that enables Latino middle-school and high-school students interested in attending college to attend presentations by experts in the areas of financial aid, advanced placement courses, college access, and preparing for college. Families have an opportunity to learn about the many resources in the local community and online that are free and available to first-generation college students.
    Latinos Involved in Discovering Educational Resources (LIDER)

    Latinos Involved in Discovering Educational Resources (LIDER) is an educational after-school program that engages students and their parents in activities that facilitate access to higher education in order to increase enrollment of Latino students in colleges and universities. It serves Latino families of the Worcester Public Schools. The program offers an annual Latino Family College Fair, informational workshops, individual college counseling, college application and financial aid application assistance, parent seminars, and referrals. We also arrange for participants to attend college open houses, campus tours, and info sessions. The program strives to educate Latino families in order to reduce barriers and demystify the college application and enrollment process.

    Age-Appropriate Groups

    • LIDER Senior focuses on college readiness.
    • LIDER Junior is an SAT Prep program. One college visit is scheduled.
    • LIDER Middle is an early college awareness program for 8th graders. A Worcester State University campus tour is scheduled.
    • LIDER Summer Program runs for 3 weeks in the summer to enhance the academic and life skills of students in grades 8-12. Students engage in academic enrichment activities that are hands-on, a mock college classroom experience, team building activities, weekly fieldtrips, recreation, and life skills workshops.
    One Circle
    One Circle involves middle-school girls in an arts and leadership program based on the Girls Circle model. It’s a collaborative project of LEI, the Worcester Youth Center, and Plumley Village that uses the research-based Girls Circle Curriculum to create structured support groups for girls ages 9 to 18 from Worcester.

    One Circle provides approximately 80 girls with skills proven to enhance their self-esteem, communication, education, healthy relationships, and self-confidence through self-expression and creativity in the arts. In addition, LEI’s One Circle units provide girls with a safe environment to explore elements of self-identity, understand external factors that impact the girls’ vision of themselves, and practice self-confident behavior.

    Art institutions in Worcester also provide tailor-made art experiences designed to enhance self-expression and strengthen identity.
    Padres Comprometidos (Active Parents)
    Padres Comprometidos (Active Parents) is a program that aims to increase kindergarten readiness among Latino families with young children, and, thus, improve future educational and economic outcomes.
    Teaching Corps
    The Worcester State University Teaching Corps is a paid internship program that improves college graduation rates and work readiness among Latino and other under-represented students at WSU. It also increases the number of students considering a career in education.

    Selected WSU students are trained in literacy and conflict resolution to prepare them for paid internships assisting teachers in Worcester Public Schools classrooms. They become role models and develop real-life experience teaching in an urban setting. They also build relationships with peers, students, students’ families, teachers, and members of the Worcester community. They also create a portfolio that displays their experiences throughout the internship.
    Worcester Institute for Parent Leadership and Engagement (WIPLE)
    We partnered with the African Community Education, South Eastern Asian Coalition, Worcester Community Connections Coalition, Worcester Educational Collaborative, and Worcester Public Schools to start the Worcester Institute for Parent Leadership and Engagement (WIPLE), a parent engagement institute.

    WIPLE’s mission and objective is to provide parents with seminars to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and tools to partner with schools and community to ensure that their children achieve their full potential. WIPLE is based on the nationally recognized Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) based in California.Through PIQE’s parent empowerment model anchored in economic and social justice for all in education, they have graduated more than 605,000 parents in the last 28 years and impacted the lives of more than 1.8 million children across the United States. Worcester Public Schools is proud to have been selected as the first district to license the PIQE Parent Engagement model in New England.
    Youth Civic Union
    Youth Civic Union (YCU) is a leadership development program for high school students to improve their educational experiences through amplifying youth voices around education. The YCU initiative aims to increase student achievement and post-graduation readiness through policy advocacy that promotes student-centered learning at both the school- and community-level.