November 8, 2002

Latino family conference to be held at Grossmont College Nov. 9

EL CAJON – A free education workshop for parents of Latino students of all ages is set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Grossmont College Student Center.

The third annual Latino Family Conference, sponsored by Excellence and Justice in Education, or EJE, features workshops on topics including AB540 (The California nonresident tuition exemption law), the importance of being bilingual in a diverse community, the current educational condition of the Latino students in San Diego, literacy, and parents’ rights. All workshops will be presented in Spanish with English translation.

“EJE has organized this conference with the purpose of increasing and enriching Latino parents’ participation and involvement in their children’s education,” said Eva Pacheco, the organization’s president.

EJE is an El Cajon-based nonprofit organization formed by parents, students, teachers and community members seeking excellence and equality in education for all children.

Omero Suarez, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Com-munity College District, said Grossmont College is an ideal site for the conference, since parents who may not have been to college will receive excellent information for themselves and their children.

“We are pleased to host this event that brings together representatives from the academic and Latino communities to focus on our youth and their futures through education,” he said.

Pacheco said notices about the conference were distributed at East County schools from elementary to high school for students to take home to their parents and fliers have been given out after school and posted at apartment complexes with high concentrations of Latino families. In addition to the workshops, free food, childcare for children over 3 and transportation will be available. Mexican folkloric dancers will entertain at the close of the conference.

“We welcome the EJE Latino Family Conference to our campus,” said Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr., Grossmont College president. “Not only do we appreciate this opportunity to engage parents in the construction of important educational goals for their children’s futures, we are also enthusiastic as we showcase the wonderful opportunities available here at Grossmont College for adult students of all ages. For many families, college is an intergenerational activity.”

Conference keynote speakers are Ignacio Rojas, parent coordinator from the Los Angeles County Office of Education, and Dr. Alberto Ochoa, an instructor at San Diego State University’s School of Education.

Following the workshops set for 10:40-11:30 a.m. in nearby classrooms, college district administrators will conduct a panel discussion from 11:45-12:30 p.m. back in the Student Center. The topic is the transfer rate of Latino community college students to four-year universities.

A recognition ceremony will follow, then food and ballet folklorico will take up the last hour of the conference, which ends at 2 p.m.

Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon. For campus and driving maps, go to www.grossmont.net or call (619) 644-7000. For more event information, call 619-593-7338.

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