ACLAMO Board Celebrates Nelly
One year ago, ACLAMO began its 39th year and named Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo as its fourth executive director. At its June 2016 meeting, the Board of Directors received a report of the accomplishments achieved during the 2015-16 year. These are some of the most noteworthy:
- developed a new strategic plan
- transferred all financial transactions to an on-line system
- redesigned website and social media strategies
- initiated programs with Montgomery County Community College
- added a staff member to manage client benefits acquisition
- carefully managed finances during PA budget impass
- significantly increased the number of funders
- expanded programs in Pottstown
- held May 1 Culinary Celebration
- provided a wide range of services to over 3,000 clients
Board members expressed thanks to Nelly Jimenez, her staff, and the many who donated generously of their time and money. Board members are looking forward to continued successes during the 2016-17 year.
Family Literacy Program Graduation
ACLAMO’s Family Literacy Program is not just a place for children to prepare for kindergarten. It is a place where each child’s mother also enrolls and receives education in language, computer skills, health practices, and parenting. In effect, each participating family learns together.
In June, family members, friends, and supporters gathered with ACLAMO staff and volunteers to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2016.
ACLAMO Graduate Dreams Again
Elizabeth Alvarez, a graduating mother, spoke at the June graduation ceremony of the Family Literacy Program. Her comments reflected the opinions of this year’s graduating class, but also the views of ACLAMO families throughout the 39 years of its existence:
ACLAMO is a wonderful place. It has been for us a second home where we have received the training, the education and a great deal of help necessary to become better people, capable of confronting life’s difficulties. Despite some stumbles, we have always had the capacity to get back up, thanks to the unconditional support of our teachers ….
Thanks to all who made this program possible. It is marvelous, beautiful and strong because it made us learn to dream again – to dream for each of us and for each of our children.
Children’s Health Insurance
As the academic year neared its end, ACLAMO students in the elementary and middle school grades continued to use the After School Program to help prepare for exams and papers. But they and their families also learned about CHIP, Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Presenters from CHIP supplied valuable information to families and also brought with them Master Chef Joseph Poon, who fascinated 80 students and staff by deftly carving different types of food into fascinating shapes. Under the chef’s watchful eye, some of the students even tried their hand at carving. One student proved especially interested and talented and Chef Poon invited him to visit his Chinatown restaurant to learn more.
The event was a great way to educate families about health insurance while wrapping up another successful year of the After School Program.
Vanguard Volunteers Strike Again!
ACLAMO enjoys support from numbers of corporations with organized employee service programs. One of the most loyal and effective of these groups comes from The Vanguard Group, which has helped with several ACLAMO projects.
During June, Vanguard volunteers returned to ACLAMO to join staff members in sprucing up, arranging and sorting through the furniture, supplies, and other equipment located at ACLAMO’s Pottstown center.
Just Look Around His Office!
The office walls of Montgomery County Community College President Kevin Pollock exhibit his interests and his engagement with everyone around him.
Beatles memorabilia and a picture signed by Harry Chapin demonstrate his love of music. Pictures of Gordie Howe and the Detroit Redwings and a display of signed baseballs evidence an interest in sports. Family history is represented by a framed passenger roster from the ship which brought his grandfather from Scotland to America. Romantic and musical accomplishments are evidenced by a menu from Paddy McGee’s Pub, where as a young man he earned extra money playing the guitar and where he met his future wife.
But it is the framed copy of the cover of The Port Huron Statement, written by 1960’s student activist Tom Hayden, which gives the greatest insight into Kevin Pollock’s commitment to involvement, activism and leadership.
This commitment led Pollock into the field of education. After teaching English in junior and senior high school, further graduate study and career opportunities honed his skill as an administrator with a special focus on strategic planning and student success. Following seven years as president of St Clair County Community College, he was selected in April of 2016 to become the fifth president of Montgomery County Community College.
President Pollock is important to the educational component of ACLAMO’s mission, since the faculty and staff of Montgomery County Community College work closely with ACLAMO to enrich the lives of Latino families and to help make education after high school a meaningful and realistic option.
“Montgomery County Community College has a vital role in providing education and cultural opportunities to residents of the county,” Pollock affirms. “I am very pleased to have the participation and support of ACLAMO as we work to achieve that goal.”