Feria Para Aprender Returning to Corpus Christi on March 5

Acclaimed educational model focusing on targeting parents and taking them through educational process from pre-K to college and beyond; The Learning Fair to feature over 70 educational exhibits hosted by numerous nonprofits, community organizations, and school districts from around the region at Del Mar College West Campus

 
The nationally-acclaimed education program for increased parental involvement and college-readiness in Latino communities, Feria Para Aprender–or The Learning Fair, is once again headed to South Texas. The Second Annual Coastal Bend Feria Para Aprender is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, from 1-5 p.m. in the Emerging Technology Building on Del Mar College’s West Campus in Corpus Christi, Texas (online map available at www.delmar.edu/resources/maps.php).

The free event is open to the public and presented by Coastal Bend Partners for College & Career Readiness and CommuniCard, LLC. For more information, email coastalbend@feriaparaaprender.com. Inpiduals can also go to
www.youtube.com/user/CoastalBendFeria to view PSAs on the Coastal Bend Feria YouTube channel.

Feria Para Aprender is defined as a “mobilization event” with a three-tiered methodology focused year-round on a region’s nonprofit educational alignment, parental navigation and economic development. The program culminates with a Feria where Hispanic and Spanish language communities are shown how to navigate the U.S. education system from cradle to career through a systematic design focused on taking parents and their children through the educational pipeline from pre-kindergarten and primary and secondary education to higher education and careers.

“We’re very excited to bring the Feria Para Aprender back to the Coastal Bend,” says Dr. Janet Cunningham, executive director of the Coastal Bend Partners for College & Career Readiness, the area’s Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board P-16 Regional Council. “Educating our children and ensuring all students graduate college or are career ready is imperative. We know from the new U.S. Census data that Texas has added nearly one million children under the age of 18 and that 95% are Hispanic.”
Supported by a grant from the Coastal Bend Community Foundation, Feria organizers are currently training more than 100 volunteers from educational organizations with a curriculum that will allow these participants to better frame their organization’s message to parents attending the event while helping them navigate through more than 70 educational exhibits and enrichment activities. Parents and their children can expect to learn about and see:

  • the educational pathway from pre-kindergarten to college.
  • career zones focused on critical workforce development areas for the region, including education, healthcare, industry, energy, tourism and fields dependent on study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • reading gardens and theatrical story-readings with over 1,000 books for distribution to participants.
  • a photo visualization area where every child gets a photo in cap and gown or professional attire.
  • mock bilingual education and dual language classrooms.
  • a Commitment Zone where parents and students illustrate their aspirations on a mural.
  • DMC campus tours.
  • expanded Financial Aid areas and workshops.
  • expanded career/workforce exhibits, such as hands-on science and technology activities including robotics and medical demonstrations.

“Del Mar College offers a most appropriate setting for this year’s Feria Para Aprender because ultimately we want parents and children among our Hispanic community to see the higher education opportunities that not only our institution but other colleges and universities in the Coastal Bend offer,” says Dr. Leonard Rivera, interim dean of Student Outreach and Enrollment Services at Del Mar College. “Higher education is the key to prosperity among families and for the region. Parents must be involved in their children’s learning process from pre-kindergarten through college to ensure the Coastal Bend maintains a sound economy.”
“Having produced the Feria Para Aprender across the nation, we know the enormous potential of a second year event to greatly increase a community’s educational capacity and outcomes,” adds Sylvia Acevedo, Feria founder and CEO of CommuniCard. “In many ways, the second annual Coastal Bend Feria will serve as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for parents, teens and children in the region. It will be that one time of year when parents can engage with hundreds of academic experts who underscore the value of a higher education. Young people will have an opportunity to see firsthand the fun and rewarding educational pathways and careers in the marketplace. It promises to be a milestone day for the community.”

Area organizations, school districts, institutions and agencies are helping to organize the second annual Coastal Bend Feria Para Aprender. Partnering organizations include Citizens for Educational Excellence, Coastal Bend Partners for College & Career Readiness, Craft Training Center and the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation. Educational agencies include the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Education Service Center Region II, Corpus Christi ISD, Calallen ISD and GEAR-UP/STAR Texas. Universities and colleges include Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Del Mar College and Coastal Bend College.

About Feria Para Aprender: Feria Para Aprender debuted in Austin in 2007 as the vision of workforce strategist Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of CommuniCard, a firm that works with institutions to strategize with the demographic shifts. The Feria Para Aprender is the nation’s largest Spanish language education event and has expanded to Los Angeles, Calif. where it drew 27,000 attendees in October. During the fourth annual 2010 Central Texas Feria Para Aprender, more than 20,000 books were distributed, the single largest book give-a-way in Texas history. To learn more about the program’s background, read research reports and see prior events held in Texas and Los Angeles, visit www.FeriaParaAprender.com.

 (DMC College Relations Office , meddlem@delmar.edu)

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