Latinx Coalition Meetings have Kicked off!

Our Parent Coalition recently received a grant to continue our Trusted Advisors work. The grant is making it possible for our parent liaisons and parent representatives to be highly visible in the community through Parent Support Stations, Parent Cafes, and Latinx Coalition meetings. Our Latinx Coalition meetings started in October. At those meetings we are meeting at locations within the Spanish speaking community and holding the meetings entirely in Spanish.

As part of having a culturally competent meeting we had to focus on food! The food has been absolutely amazing! When we met in the morning the group had tamales and conchas. At our evening meeting the food was provided by El Granjero Mexican Grill.

Each meeting so far has started out with an ice breaker. One of which was led by our awesome Parent Rep, Reyna Garcia. The ice breaker helps people start to feel comfortable and get to know each other if they are strangers.

Our meetings have also included speakers. At our morning meeting the speaker was Gloria Trejo, author of Llueve Chocolate. Her topic was “Our Roots” focusing on how we are all different and come from different backgrounds. While we must respect other’s cultures we can still “Be proud of who you are and show who you are to others”. She emphasized how important it is to get involved in your community and teach your children your language. The presentation was very interactive as she invited parents to come up and read portions of her book. She also had the group tell a story together. One parent started the story and then the next person continued the story with their own spin. The group loved the activity and it also promoted a love of literacy. It helped parents who aren’t strong readers know they can still help their child develop a love of reading and storytelling.

At our evening meeting Carla Sanchez spoke about healthy lifestyles. She used the My Plate model to share what kind of foods and how much of those foods should be on our plates to be healthy. It turns out our hand is a great way to measure how much we should be eating of different foods at each meal! The circular part of your hand should be your guide for meat, a fist or your open palm should be the serving size for vegetables, ½ of your fist should be made up of rice/grains and lastly a serving of mayonnaise should be ½ of your thumb. These were simple but effective ways to remember serving sizes without having to use a scale or a measuring cup. The speaker also shared the importance of exercise. Physical activity can be broken up throughout your day in 10-minute increments. The better your cardiovascular system is – the better your glucose is regulated and the better your kidneys will function. She spoke extensively about diabetes and the effect diabetes has on the body including the eyes, nerves and kidneys. She emphasized that the best way to deal with kidney issues/disease is through prevention. At the website https://readysetprevent.org/ there are free classes for Latinos and African-Americans to help prevent kidney disease. There are also programs for school aged children that teach about eating vegetables. They have the “Snack Like A Superhero” coloring books. Each coloring book has a different colored super hero with vegetables/fruits that correspond to the color.

We still have two more Latinx Coalition meetings and would love to have more community members join us. Our next meeting is at Alger Head Start on November 21st from 5:30pm – 8pm. Call 632-1007 to RSVP. Also, we can’t thank our Parent Representative, Reyna Garcia enough for her tireless work and advocacy to make these meetings a success. Thank you so much, Reyna!