Fall | Issue 25 | Date: September 21, 2022
Funding Great Schools. Rooted in Community. 
Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
Throughout Denver and in Denver Public Schools, events honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.) are planned to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Visit Denver has a list of happenings throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Learn more below about some of the activities and events our grantees and other organizations in Denver are hosting. 

  • Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) hosted a kick-off event with pre-game activities and festivities at the Colorado Rapids game on Sept. 14, with a portion of ticket sales going back to the organization. 

  • To start National Hispanic Heritage Month, Rocky Mountain Prep Southwest welcomed students to school with mariachi music playing out front. 

  • DSST: Conservatory Green High School is inviting students, families and community members to a National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on Sept. 23. The event will feature community resources, dance lessons, performances and food.

  • STRIVE Prep - RISE is hosting a "dia de ciencias (day of science)" event on Sept. 24 led by Hispanic engineers with hands-on activities for middle and high school students, and a college-readiness workshop for their families. STRIVE Prep Ruby Hill and STRIVE Prep Federal are also hosting a potluck event for families.
  • KIPP schools are hosting an event on Sept. 21 with the Colorado Rapids for their students, families and community members to celebrate Hispanic and Latinx heritage. The Rapids will raffle off game tickets, and there will be a vaccine clinic, food vendors and more. 

  • Highline Academy Charter Schools northeast campus is displaying flags and facts about National Hispanic Heritage Month and various countries throughout its atrium. The school is asking families to share their own pieces of history—photos, recipes and stories—to display in the atrium. The school is also planning a museum gallery walk. 

  • The Denver Public Library celebrated the installation of a “Mexican Heroes” mural (image above) created by Colorado Chicana muralist Carlota EspinoZa. You can see the mural at the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library (1498 Irving St., Denver, 80204).
Listen: Ednium Talks Financial Literacy and Legacy with Tiffany Askins
Tiffany Askins wants students at the center of financial literacy curriculum in Denver Public Schools. 

The long-time educator sat with Ednium: The Alumni Collective for a podcast about financial literacy last month. 

“I want students to have a voice in this, and I want it to be a very diverse group of voices that come from a lot of different lived experiences and keep that at the forefront of what we’re doing,” Askins said.
TeRay Esquibel, co-founder and executive director of Ednium, talked with Askins about attitudes toward money and finance, saving and investments. 

“This goes beyond financial literacy—financial literacy opens up options,” Askins said. 

Askins said she hopes as a result of the district’s financial literacy curriculum students “will have their financial legacies look different, and that they will have opportunities to dream.”

Esquibel told RootED he’s excited to have Askins in the role.

“Our alumni gave a clear indication of who should be leading this work—someone who reflects the community and who has a background and story similar to a lot of the alumni we work with,” Esquibel said. “It’s someone who makes the connection and knows financial literacy isn’t just about interest rates and money; it’s about helping people dream differently and changing financial legacies. Tiffany knows this, and she’s the right person to do this work because she’s lived it.” 

Esquibel is also excited to have Ednium partner with Askins and the district to implement the curriculum. He said he hopes this shows district leaders the importance of co-designing programs with community leaders and organizations. 

“There’s a really good opportunity here to demonstrate what happens when you allow a solution to come from the community and to maintain a partnership through implementation,” he said. 

Listen to the Ednium podcast here.
Stand for Children Brings Families Together to Discuss DPS' New Strategic Roadmap
Stand for Children Colorado hosted a virtual event on Sept. 15 to help families understand the Denver Public Schools new strategic plan, DPS Thrives: A Strategic Roadmap to the Denver Public Schools Experience

The advocacy organization provided a high-level overview of the district’s plan, which outlines a new vision—Every Learner Thrives—for the district, alongside a new mission: “Educational equity is our collective responsibility. We prepare students for career, college and life. We create conditions and partnerships where students, families and team members belong and thrive.”
During the session, families talked about their experiences in Denver Public Schools and what they’d like to see the district do to strengthen family and community partnership and engagement. Some shared concerns about the district’s plan and felt it wasn’t clear or detailed enough, particularly in its strategies to improve student academic achievement or eliminate opportunity and proficiency gaps. Participants also expressed a desire to support increased compensation for educators and discussed a need to recruit and retain more educators of color. 

Stand told participants it would take their feedback and find ways to engage with Denver Public Schools to address concerns and areas for improvement.

Stand encourages families, educators, and community members to engage with the district by sharing their experiences, hopes and concerns by making public comments at Denver Public Schools Board of Education meetings.

You can reach out to Stand here if you’d like them to share information with the district or engage with them.

You can learn more about Stand here.
Deadline to Apply for CLLARO's Capitol Fellowship Program is Oct. 9
The Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) is now accepting applications for its Capitol Fellowship Program. 

The paid internship provides college students, recent graduates and graduate students who are interested in social justice the opportunity to work part-time during the Colorado legislative session (from January to early May). The program helps fellows develop their leadership skills and learn first-hand how proposed legislation can become law. Fellows earn a monthly stipend and can earn academic credit for the internship. They also receive support from CLLARO throughout the program to help them be successful. 

Share this opportunity with college students in your networks. The deadline to apply is Oct. 9.

Learn more about the program here or apply here.

If you have questions about the program, contact Alejandra Colmenero at alejandra.colmenero@cllaro.org.
Denver Public Schools Board of Education Reconsiders 5280 Freedom School's Charter Application
The Denver Public Schools Board of Education will vote again Thursday, Sept. 22, on the 5280 Freedom School’s new charter school application.

The Denver board voted to deny the school’s charter application in June, which prompted the 5280 Freedom School to appeal to the Colorado State Board of Education in August. 

The state board voted 5-2 to remand the application back to the Denver school board to reconsider. 

The 5280 Freedom School’s popular two-week summer camp sparked the effort to open a new charter school that would provide a space for Black youth to feel loved, valued, safe and free. 

The school’s mission and vision emphasize Black excellence, which aligns with the Denver school board’s 2019 Black Excellence Resolution. If approved, the 5280 Freedom School plans to open in fall of 2023 with a space that embraces the excellence of Black and African American students and prioritizes and targets their academic achievement.

Tune in to the Denver school board’s Sept. 22 meeting to watch the vote.
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