NAMPA, Idaho — A local organization is collaborating with the Idaho Education Association to reach Idaho’s Latino families, focusing on education.
Poder of Idaho recently launched ‘Poder Colectivo para la Educación” (Collective Power for Education).
Karina Guadarrama, a staff member with Poder of Idaho, said the effort sparked after conversations with local teachers.
“We had a listening session with teachers to hear what they were experiencing this past year, during the pandemic, with education and what their students were experiencing. From those listening sessions, we heard a need for language access in schools, more culture curriculum reflected, mental health services for Latinx communities in schools,” said Guadarrama.
The new initiative includes canvassing around the communities and speaking with Latinx families.
“The IEA is also knocking on doors while we have common missions. We have a slight difference in what our canvass looks like. We are trying to build up our Latinx community around education issues so hopefully they can advocate for an education system in Idaho that works for them and their families.”
Data from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs shows a sharp uptick in Hispanic students enrolling in Idaho’s K-12 education system. Numbers show, from 2014-2015 to 2019-2020, enrollment increased by 12 percent.
Estefanía Mondragon, Executive Director of Poder of Idaho, says their efforts include finding solutions to ensure Latino students have success when facing obstacles.
“I went to school from K through 12 in Nampa and then went up to the University of Idaho. I love Idaho education, but from what I’ve seen, from my experience, there’s so much talent within the Latinx communities but not all of us make it to college. Those that want and have a drive for it still aren’t getting there,” Mondragon said.
Mondragon hopes their outreach efforts will create a bridge between teachers and Latino families.
“Connect with Idaho teachers, community members, students, and parents and figuring out what are the solutions, how can we build a platform around the issues that are affecting Latinos at a school district level, at a state level, and start advocating for them,” Mondragon said.
Poder of Idaho's canvassing effort kicked off in Wilder earlier this month, and they are seeking more canvassers to do outreach work in both the Treasure and Magic Valley. For more information on the canvasser position, contact Karina Guadarrama at email@example.com.