By Joe Jarosz
June 25, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Students are back on the campus of the former Saint Paul’s School of Theology.
Last week, summer school programs kicked off for the Guadalupe Centers, Inc. at its new home in the Northeast.
Carla Medina, staff member for Guadalupe Centers, Inc., said currently, there are 116 students enrolled in the summer program. The students, in grades first through eighth, meet at the campus from as early as 7:30 a.m. to as late as 6 p.m. During the morning portion, the students are taught by certified instructors. Medina said this year’s theme is myth busters.
“We chose myth busters just as kind of a fun theme to help teach the kids,” Medina said, adding six subjects – reading, writing, math, science, social studies and art – accompany the theme.
Gilbert Guerrero, vice president of youth development and supplemental education, said when he selected the myth busters theme, he was looking for a curriculum that’s different from the traditional school curriculum, but at the same time, still educational.
In the afternoon, youth workers switch with the instructors and work with the children on youth development and youth culture. Medina said the students also go on field trips on Wednesdays and Fridays. Despite being on a new campus, Medina said it’s basically the same summer program the centers operate at the other sites.
“It’s just a matter of getting the staff hired and duplicating the program over here,” Medina said. “This is just like opening another site. It hasn’t been too difficult.”
Opening a summer program in the Northeast helped families reduce commute times traveling to the Westside location. Medina said a majority of the summer program’s students are from the Northeast.
“A number of kids who went to our Westside site for many, many years transferred to this campus because it’s more convenient for them and their families,” Medina said. “There’s a few last minute admissions who probably would prefer the Westside, but since that location filled up so quickly they come here and they haven’t had any issues with the travel.”
Guerrero added the goal of the centers was to provide a safe environment not just for the students, but also the parents, as well.
“We’re excited to be in the Northeast,” Guerrero said. “It’s a growing population for Latinos and this gives us a better opportunity to better serve them closer to home.”
Before the summer program began, Medina said the centers did some community outreach to get the word out about what will be offered at the campus. She said they were able to talk to a few neighbors and get the word out to those who didn’t know about the center.
“Now, with the program already have started, it’ll be more word of mouth,” Medina said, adding people are already asking about the elementary school that is scheduled to open this fall on campus. “Hopefully that means admission numbers are higher next year.”
Along with the elementary school this fall, Medina said the Guadalupe Centers is moving its social services operations to the building, across the street, adjacent to the campus.
“We’re looking at a lot of different things for the campus,” Medina said.
Guerrero added when discussions were taking place with the board of directors for the St. Paul School of Theology, he said the board was very interested in the next tenant upholding a high level of education. This is something he knows the centers will produce.
“The community is trusting us to provide that,” Guerrero said.