Vote for Our “Ready! for Kindergarten” Little Chef Cute Photo!

This sweet little chef was in our Ready! for Kindergarten pre-kindergarten class at SKCE this summer.

The Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group presents this fun contest to member nonprofits every year. As a voter, you don’t have to sign up for anything or give your personal information, and you can vote each day through Friday. If you vote daily this week, that will increase our chances of winning.

If we win, we receive a cash prize of $250! If we are one of 19 second place winners, we will receive $100.

Vote here daily to help us win!

Our Ready! for Kindergarten (¡Listo! para Kindergarten) program is a program that helps Spanish speaking parents. These parents learn how to prepare their pre-kindergarten children to enter elementary school without the learning gap that exists for many low income Spanish speaking children. Without Ready! for Kindergarten learning sessions for parents, about 40% of children enter kindergarten 1 to 3 years behind their peers. With Ready! for Kindergarten, approximately 90% of children entered kindergarten at or above kindergarten readiness level. (Read more about Ready for K)

We also have parent training programs to train and support parents all through their children’s school years.



Moms, Dads, Help Prepare Their Children for Kindergarten

Aprendiendo Avanzamos (Learning Together We Advance) delighted families twice a week for 13 weeks from April to June with the help of generous supporters. Moms, dads and kids had so much fun learning together through developmental activities that they asked for more classes!


SKCE early learning facilitators led children and parents through a variety of experiences twice a week – singing, art projects, learning games, sensory experiences through play, and literacy development. Parents attended parenting classes one day each week and parent-led preschool the other day. Families attended from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM and received a hearty breakfast and snack. Babies and toddlers received developmentally focused childcare.

By the end of the course, 24 parents had been through a 10-week parenting program called Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors) on Thursday mornings, while their children received learning-rich preschool. On Friday mornings, parents learned how to make low cost learning activities at home, and then practiced those activities with their child in this second day of preschool each week. Finally, parents attended three trainings of the “Ready! For Kindergarten” program. Each family received and learned to use a $200 “Ready! For Kindergarten” kit of developmental education materials and activities, generously provided by the Marion Polk Early Learning Hub.


The impact of Aprendiendo Avanzamos can affect generations.


Spanish speaking immigrants from rural areas in Mexico with farm working backgrounds are less likely to have had access to school in their childhood. They tell us of having no books in the home, going to school sporadically as rural teachers sent by the government came and went, and having immediate family needs that often took priority over building the future. The simple act of learning how to provide educational experiences to their children and getting them ready for kindergarten changes the way parents think about the future of their child and family. Parents embrace their role as first teacher, mentor and coach of their children. A domino effect occurs throughout the child’s school career as parents continue to stay involved, learn to advocate for their children, and envision high school graduation, college and/or career accomplishments and improving the family’s income. Thus old cycles of poverty and low literacy are set aside as the new cycle has begun, and is passed down in parenting the next generation.


Other supporters that made this session of Aprendiendo Avanzamos possible are:

the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative, William S. Walton Charitable Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, and the Atkinson Graduate School of Management (AGSM) Grants Program.

Thank You for Helping Us to Meet Our Goal!

Thank You!

You made our 2016 Annual Luncheon,

Raising the Bar for Oregon,

a huge success!


Thank you for helping us reach our goal!

What a powerful event we had last Wednesday May 18th!  
Salam Noor, Deputy Superintendent of Oregon, delivered a powerful  speech to spur us to action on increasing parent and community  engagement in schools as one of the most critical factors in closing the achievement gap.
Shamir Cervantes, former student body president of Willamette University, moved the audience to a standing ovation after baring his heart and his life experience as a brown Mexican son of Migrant farmworkers. 
Celia Flores, daughter of parents involved in SKCE’s parent programs for over 12 years, brought the audience to tears as she shared her pride and gratefulness for her family’s difficult and successful journey and her mother’s determination.
Maria Isabel Saldaña, freshman at Willamette University and daughter of SKCE participants, eloquently shared the meaning of her journey to becoming a DACA student.

Finally, Eric Lindauer, former president of the Oregon Community Foundation and founder of the Latino Partnership Project, asked you to give, to assure that hundreds more parents will have the opportunity to empower their families.

And you responded! You raised $5,720–enough to provide more than 30 parents with a series of engaging classes about communication, understanding the education system or preventing risky behaviors.

SKCE belongs to the parents, to the community, to you!


A big big thank you to our Sponsors!

Swegle parents graduate “Abriendo Puertas”

A child’s education begins at home and parents play a critical first role in helping build a bright future for their children. The Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program builds on parents’ lived experiences so that they can be first teacher at home. After parents graduate from Abriendo Puertas they have more resources to help their children in school.

Here’s some of the comments parents shared:

“I learned to make daily activities as learning opportunities for my children” -Rosemary

“I learned that even though I didn’t have a formal education, I was still capable of being my child’s first teacher” -Irma

Here’s some photos of the graduation at La Plazita:

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SKCE featured at United Way MWV Campaign Kick-off celebration

Many thanks to the United Way MWV and to Randy Frank and Arturo Vargas for featuring SKCE at their Campaign Kick-off Celebration. United Way supported SKCE’s new parent-led literacy program, Leyendo Avanzamos/Reading Together We Advance, in the funding cycle of 2010-2012 and 2013-2015, to develop partners and expand the program to more schools.

Four Corners Elementary, with Principal Phil Decker, piloted the program for the first year, and Cesar Chavez Elementary, with Principal Olga Cobb, and Scott Elementary, with Principal Dave Bertholf, joined in the pilot for the second and third years. Now in its fourth year, Leyendo Avanzamos has added Hallman Elementary, with Principal Jen Vanslander.

Everyone is excited about the potential of the program to make a major impact on the generation of children that will be expected to pass higher common core standards and will be the first graduating cohort in 2025, with the goal of Governor Kitzhauber, 40-40-20: that’s 40% graduating with a four year degree, 40% graduating with a two year degree or career skills equivalent, and 20% graduating from high school.

2014 Regional Mock Trial Competition, Albany OR

Here’s a couple of videos about our recent Regional Mock Trail Completion in Albany, OR. The competition was held at the Linn Courthouse on March 1st, 2014.

Salem Team Participants:

  • Benjamin Martinez
  • Moises Mendoza
  • Gina Benavides
  • Stephanie Azcue
  • Jorge Garcia
  • Erick Mendoza
  • Sam Mcgee
  • Katie Hill
  • Blanca Arredondo
  • Lorena Ambrocio

Keizer Team Participants:

  • Dakota Easbey
  • Rosario Vargas
  • Martina Hernandez
  • Michele Fahlman
  • Valeria Jacome
  • Adriana Escorcia
  • Diana Jacome
  • Kevin Morales

Parents learning tools to advocate for their children

January 2014 has been a busy month for our parent facilitators of our Educa e Inspira (Educate & Inspire) Program, part of our “College Begins at Home” Initiative. They facilitated 14 different workshops in various schools in the Salem/Keizer School District. An average of 15 to 20 parents attended each workshop.

Each workshop talks about various issues facing their children in education, and helps parents find ways to help their children succeed in school. Some of the topics of recent workshops are: Effectively Communicating with Schools, New Oregon Report Cards, State Test & Understanding your Child’s Learning Progress, Raising Achievement by Teaching & Supporting your Children at Home.

Here are some comments from some parents:

“I like coming to these workshops because I learned how I can help my child at home” -Maria Ramirez, mother of 3

“I want my children to succeed in school, and I want to learn what I need to do as a parent to make sure that happens” -Lorena Rodriguez, mother of 2

“Sometimes as parents we don’t know who to help our children due to the language barrier but in these workshops I’m able to communicate my concerns in my own language and learn to help them better” -Teresa Gonzalez, mother of 3

SKCE Mock Trial team goes to the Multnomah County Courthouse


On December 13, 2013, our Mock Trial team went to the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland. Most of them were very nervous but excited to participate in this new experience. The team has been meeting and practicing  for the past 2 months at the Willamette University, College of Law.