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LFDCS Celebrated 2nd Family Food Fiesta PDF Print E-mail

on Friday, August 1, 2014The Fiesta was a special event this year because Lawrence Family Development had two reasons to celebrate.

The first reason was the end of a successful summer school where charter school students enjoyed enrichment activities, academic and attendance interventions, explored high school transitions and improved English language skills. Over one-hundred and sixty students participated in engaging and educational activities this summer. To end the summer semester, the Family Food Fiesta was held outdoors on August 1st to allow Lawrence Family Development students and parents to enjoy the school’s gardens and the attractive campus in the heart of the City of Lawrence, MA. As part of summer activities, students and teachers enjoyed and studied in the on-campus gardens. With the goal of school gardens that build awareness of food choices, the summer opportunities are funded from various private and state grants that allow Lawrence Family Development Charter School students to grow produce as part of the school’s meal program. The Raised Bed Gardens are located at LFDCS's Lower School Campus at 34 West Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

The second reason for celebrating on August 1st by Lawrence Family Development was an announcement at the Family Food Fiesta by Massachusetts Representative Frank Moran, who along with the Merrimack Valley delegation, secured from the FY15 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ budget an appropriation of $50,000 for Lawrence Family Development & Education Fund, Inc.'s Maria del Pilar Quintana Family Center. This award is specifically for the Quintana’s citizenship and ESL services for adults. The award was announced to families by Representative Moran at the Family Food Fiesta. The award is another major achievement for newcomers to the City of Lawrence and will allow several hundred adult students to study English as a Second Language and participate in Citizenship Educations. Many students take advantage of a full year of study which consists of two 16-week semesters of classes offered at the Family Center’s classrooms at 404 Haverhill Street. When parents of the Lawrence Family Development Charter School’s students participate, the parents’ educational progress directly impacts their children’s school achievement.

At the Food Fiesta, State Representative Frank Moran spoke in English and Spanish to attendees at the Family Food Fiesta. He detailed the importance of community involvement and civic engagement. Representative Moran said: "Learning English will help in your careers and your personal life…..it will open doors previously unknown to you." A strong supporter of education services to immigrants, Representative Moran’s presence at the Fiesta demonstrates his commitment to quality education for students of all ages.Accepting the $50,000 check at the ceremony was Lawrence Family Development, Inc.’s Executive Director, Ralph Carrero. He was assisted by Sandra Cepeda, Family Center Manager and Cindy Colón, Family Center Assistant. Mr. Carrero highlighted with pride the major accomplishment of the Quintana Family Center when, after months of work on a thorough application, Lawrence Family Development (LFD) was awarded approval of its citizenship education and services by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).


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