SAVE THE DATE!
ACLAMO’S Annual Culinary Celebration
Sunday, April 30, 2017
3:00 P.M. to 6 P.M.
At Montgomery County Community College
Support ACLAMO’s vital mission, goals and programs!
Watch for ticket sales starting soon!
- Delicious food, wine and beer — and a tasting glass memento
- Authentic Latino cultural celebration
- Live music and dancing to Latino rhythms
- Great conversations with old and new friends
In partnership with:
Three Kings’ Day At ACLAMO
Most newsletter readers know that Latino families typically enjoy three celebrations in December and January: Christmas, New Year’s and Three Kings’ Day. The latter event celebrates the arrival of the kings in Bethlehem to visit the child Jesus.
ACLAMO does not celebrate Three King’s Day in the major way it is celebrated in Spain, Mexico and other Latin countries, but support from many kind donors allowed Maricruz Clemens, Pottstown Site Coordinator, to organize a special holiday event for the Pottstown community.
Parents and children enjoyed music, healthy snacks and loaded up with the donated holiday gifts. Current executive director Nelly Jimenez was present to help, along with Adamino Ortiz, ACLAMO’s first executive director, and other staff members. It is likely that the original three kings would have approved!
Severino Gonzalez Pitches in to Support ACLAMO
When Phillies pitcher Severino Gonzalez was looking for an organization which has programs to strengthen Latino youth, he found ACLAMO Family Centers. The result was a donation of merchandise from New Balance.
Norristown Police Santa Claus Wins Over ACLAMO Students
Exchanging police blue for Santa Claus red, Norristown police officers came to ACLAMO’s Marshall Street location to entertain children in the After School Program. “Santa Claus” listened carefully to each child’s holiday list and the officers distributed stickers and a small gift.
It isn’t certain that the children received all the presents they told Santa about, but they did leave the event full of the holiday spirit, having met very caring police officers.
“In this especially difficult time for the Latino community,” ACLAMO Executive Director Nelly Jimenez commented, “we are grateful to the Norristown police for reaching out.”
“The Third Age”
In many Spanish speaking countries, senior citizens are said to have entered “La Tercera Edad” or “The Third Age”. ACLAMO includes important programs to support those who have reached “The Third Age”.
Sometimes programs for children and for those in “The Third Age” are combined. One example is the visits paid by ACLAMO classes to the Senior Adult Activities Center (S.A.A.C.) of Montomery County. One of the S.A.A.C. locations is on George Street, about a block from ACLAMO’s Norristown location. ACLAMO teachers take children to the center to sing songs and help seniors celebrate most major holidays.
On the Floor to Program Robots
Trying their hand at basic computer programming and having a lot of fun are key components of two 3-week sessions at ACLAMO. Students from the robotics team at Episcopal Academy give ACLAMO students opportunities to program a series of commands and then watch the robots responding.
This is the third successive year in which Episcopal Academy has provided this educational robot class experience. Students from Episcopal Academy are also regular participants in ACLAMO’s after school program, providing ongoing tutoring and enriching the program with other specially focused educational opportunities.
Onto the Center Stage
Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Senior Director of Cultural Affairs Brent Woods is the newest member of ACLAMO’s Board of Directors. Brent’s human development approach – which focuses on people and improving their lives – was inspired by the work of his father in Liberia. Brent watched his father, Jesse W. Woods, Jr., who worked for Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), develop relationships with people as he taught them business management skills and how to grow their wealth and to become more self-sufficient.
These early observations translated into lifelong skills and goals for Brent in his performing arts career as he helped performing arts organizations and artists succeed, particularly at MCCC. When MCCC’s former Director of Cultural Affairs Helen Haynes hired him as her assistant, he worked hard behind the scenes to make her vision of the program successful as she carefully leveraged the Lively Arts Series to enrich the lives of all people of all ages in the community.
When Ms. Haynes was appointed to the cabinet position of chief cultural officer for the City of Philadelphia, the College selected Brent as Interim and then Senior Director of Cultural Affairs and he found himself on “center stage”. He took the opportunity to continue his goal of helping others to succeed. “That is a strong leadership strategy,” he comments.
Happily for ACLAMO, Brent reached out to Latino students in the community. He has invited ACLAMO young people to numerous performances and has established an usher training program in partnership with ACLAMO. The purpose of the program is to instill confidence to allow students to be more successful in life. “The goal, ” Brent explains, “is to have ACLAMO’s awesome students walk away with a stronger sense of being and who they are and to be able to express themselves clearly and interact with different groups of people in a professional way. I am honored and proud to be a part of Nelly’s team to help her students be successful.”
ACLAMO Executive Director Nelly Jimenez is also enthusiastic. “Brent has been a trailblazer for our students. He has exposed them to a diversity of experiences in art, music and culture. Brent encourages students to dream in spaces they had never known before.