New Leadership with Continuity

[h2title title=”From the Executive Director”]


I would like to introduce myself. My name is Nelly Jiménez-Arévalo, and it is an honor to have been appointed as the new Executive Director of ACLAMO.  I am humbled to have the privilege to lead this wonderful organization. There is no doubt that this is an exciting time for ACLAMO as we begin a new chapter in our history.

In my role as Executive Director it will be my pleasure to work with each of you and our wonderful staff to accomplish these goals:
  • Increase the level of quality of the services we provide
  • Recruit, maintain and grow the number of volunteers to help us provide services
  • Raise funds to sustain services
  • Create the awareness necessary to help ensure that everyone in the community from funders, government agencies and community members knows the amazing services ACLAMO provides.

We are proud of the current services we offer, but we have so much more to do. We will continue to identify new and innovative ways to provide high quality services that meet the needs of our families and create a comprehensive plan to help them meet their basic needs and become successful in the areas they choose.

To move ACLAMO’s families forward it will be extremely important to keep our focus on education, social services and help our community develop an economic mobility plan.  Early childhood education and parenting skills have provided our children and parents with a great start to school.  Guiding our youth and offering them opportunities to explore different educational options will help them to become successful.  Health is another key factor in the life of each family.  Providing information, assisting families to navigate the health system, including helping them to apply for health insurance and connecting them with other resources are all critical to their stability.

At the end of the day, we can’t achieve our goals without YOU.  To effectively fulfill our mission we need expanded programs, resources and an equipped workforce.  If you are interested in helping us to grow these projects, please consider volunteering, partnering or making a financial investment.  Any one of these gifts helps ensure that ACLAMO can continue providing the services our community needs.  If you want to get involved in support of ACLAMO, please send me an email at [email protected]

I look forward to meeting all of you. I welcome you to come to visit us at ACLAMO. Please stop in to say hello, as I’d love to meet you personally!
Nelly Jiménez-Arevalo
ACLAMO Executive Director
[h2title title=”Help ACLAMO Celebrate the Fourth! “]

Only a few days remain in the matching challenge. If you haven´t taken advantage of this opportunity, please make a generous donation to ACLAMO and a donor will match your gift, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000. ACLAMO children and their families need your donation. PLEASE GIVE NOW

[h2title title=”Family Literacy Program Graduation”]

Pre-K students celebrate graduation.

Pre-K students celebrate graduation.

2015 marked the fourteenth graduating class of mothers and children from the Family Literacy Program. Students had completed a year of classes in which children prepared to enroll in kindergarten and mothers studied English, computer skills, health education, parenting skills and learned other valuable information to enable them to succeed.

Students, their families, guests, staff and board members celebrated this special occasion that symbolizes the beginning of a new journey in the path to success.

Typical of the families in the program are Bienvenida and her son Bryan.  A veteran of Family Literacy, Bienvenida´s two older children also completed the program.  Born in the Dominican Republic, Bienvenida finished study each day at ACLAMO and then worked at her night job, cleaning office buildings.

Bryan excelled in his pre-K academic testing, especially in rhyming and letter sound application in English. Pre-K teacher Linda Maldonado attributes Bryan´s success in large measure to Bienvenida working with Bryan at home to reinforce lessons learned at ACLAMO.

[h2title title=”New Executive Director Begins”]

(left to right) Margarita Contreras, Reina Guevara and Lourdes Hernández brief new Executive Director Nelly Jiménez-Arévalo.

(left to right) Margarita Contreras, Reina Guevara and Lourdes Hernández brief new Executive Director Nelly Jiménez-Arevalo.

July 1 was the first day on the job for ACLAMO´s new Executive Director Nelly Jiménez-Arévalo.  In the morning, the teaching staff was busy at the Norristown Area School District´s Stewart Middle School, where ACLAMO is in the first week of the Summer Bridge Program.  So Nelly spent the first part of the day going over contracts and basic financial data with Director of Operations, Lourdes Hernandez.

In the afternoon, the staff and Nelly held their first official meeting.  This was a time of getting acquainted, discussing the daily operation of ACLAMO, and identifying issues which need to be clarified or resolved.
“I was greatly impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of our employees,” Nelly commented afterwards.  Staff members seemed similarly impressed with Nelly and were enthusiastic about beginning work with their new leader.
[h2title title=”Vanguard Paint Brushes Switch Into Action”]
The photographer is reflected in ACLAMO´s front window as he snaps a picture of painters at work.

The photographer is reflected in ACLAMO´s front window as he snaps a picture of painters at work.

Due to the steady flow of hundreds of students and clients, ACLAMO´s locations need regular repainting. This task has been accomplished by a variety of volunteer groups through the years, but none has been more numerous or organized than the 25 volunteers from Vanguard who descended on ACLAMO on a Friday in early June.

Led by Julia Chestaro and Annette Vasquez and toting brushes, ladders and other supplies, the volunteers spent a morning and afternoon caulking, painting, and cleaning up. At noon, Vanguard workers and ACLAMO staff enjoyed a delicious lunch, provided at a generous discount by Felix Ceron, owner of La Poblanita Restaurant.
Also making this painting project possible was a donation of paint and supplies from Lowes Home Improvement in Plymouth Meeting, arranged by Brian Janson, Assistant Store Manager.
[h2title title=”Yes, Polar Bears Live in the Artic”]
Zoo goers gather for a group picture.

Zoo goers gather for a group picture.

Field trips are an important and much anticipated part of the ACLAMO program. The parents of many of our children work two and three jobs and do not bring home enough income to allow for some of the experiences which can be critically important for developing young minds.

As the regular school year drew to a close, ACLAMO arranged for the children and mothers in the Family Literacy Program to spend a day at the Philadelphia Zoo.

The children’s mothers pitched in, holding a raffle and selling used clothing to raise enough money to cover almost the entire cost of the trip.

In preparation for the zoo visit, classes for the pre-K children and their mothers included discussion of English vocabulary related to the zoo animals plus information about each animal.

Who´s afraid of a brass gorilla?

Who´s afraid of a brass gorilla?

And the lessons paid off. As the group stood watching a polar bear taking a refreshing swim right in front of them, Linda Maldonado, Director of Early Learning and Family Literacy, reminded the children that polar bears live in Alaska. “That’s in the Arctic, right?” one of the girls piped up. “I was flabbergasted,” Linda commented. “I didn´t remember specifically teaching about the Arctic!”

[h2title title=”Un rinconcito para nosotros”]

¡Hola! Mi nombre es Nelly Jiménez-Arévalo. A partir del primero de julio seré la Directora Ejecutiva de ACLAMO. Con mucho orgullo he asumido la responsabilidad de servir a la comunidad Latina de Norristown y Pottstown conjuntamente con el resto del personal de ACLAMO. Con más de 18 años de experiencia en el área social mi pasión ha sido siempre ayudar a los demás.

Trabaje por muchos años en Congreso con la comunidad del Norte de Filadelfia y luego en MCHC en el Condado de Chester. Me siento honrada de poder servirles.

Si necesitan alguna ayuda en el área social, educación, inmigración u otro servicio de ayuda social no se olvide visitarnos en nuestras oficinas de Norristown o Pottstown. Nuestro personal estará dispuesto a ayudarles.

¡Los veo pronto!