‘Juntos Program’ Helps Latino Families Succeed in Iowa


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In recent years, Latinos have made great strides in achievement in education.

Latino high school dropout rates are at an all-time low and more and more Latinos are enrolling in two- and four-year colleges and universities.

In Sheldon, IA (5.99% Latino population), a new program has been launched to help the community’s Latinos excel even more in school.

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Northwest Iowa Community College are excited to offer local Latino families with the opportunity to take part in what’s being called Juntos para una mejor educación” (Together for a Better Education).

According to radio station KIWA, extension officials have described the program as a series of activities for middle school students and their families with the goal of bringing them, the schools, and community together to help Latino youths succeed in school and in identifying paths to higher education.

“The Latino population and school enrollment is increasing, yet the percentage of Latinos with a high school education is lower than the general population in Iowa,” said Lori Hayungs, a human sciences specialist with the ISU Extension and Outreach. “Research tells us that family, school and community engagement are important to help youth succeed in school.”

With the Juntos partnership, the goal is to bring Latino families to community and school resources that will help students achieve academic success.

“When there is not a history of higher education within a family, or adults in a family have not experienced the United States school system, they may not know how to best support their youth to do well in school or how to access college,” Hayungs said.

The five-week sessions of Juntos begins April 4 and continue every Tuesday evening until May 2. They are free to all students and parents.

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