Sam Houston State University, in conjunction with the Huntsville school district and the local chapter of LULAC, will celebrate the Hispanic culture with mariachis, piñatas, and comedians on Saturday (Oct. 11) during Encuentro 2008.
More than 500 Hispanic families are expected to attend the conference, which will be held from 1-7 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center.
“The purpose of Encuentro 2008 is to offer useful, practical information for parents and entertainment for children and teens, with mentoring by our many Hispanic students to help local families improve their lives and prepare their children for a college career,” said program sponsor Caroline Castillo Crimm.
Registration for the event will begin at 1 p.m., during which time participants can visit some of the dozens exhibitors’ booths from the Arte Público Press, the COME Center, Work Force Solutions and the Huntsville Public Library, as well as a number of SHSU departments.
The conference will also be comprised of informational presentations for parents from 2-4 p.m. on such topics as health, legal affairs, financial aid for their children and empowering themselves.
Teens will have the opportunity to hear presentations by famous artists, poets and experts, plus a chance to talk to university Hispanics with sessions on “Slam Poetry,” money management, music, SHSU admissions and financial aid and an SHSU student panel from 2-5:30 p.m. in the Kat Klub.
To facilitate parent and teen learning, Encuentro will provide caretakers for children, who will be entertained with clowns, comedians, piñatas and arts and crafts.
That evening, Texas State University System Regent Doris Alcalá will give a keynote address on “The Importance of Education in Your Life” during dinner in the LSC Ballroom, which will also include a performance by the Mariachis of A&M.
“This conference is our chance to help Hispanic families feel at home on our campus and to realize the opportunities available for them and their children at our university,” Crimm said.
There is no charge for the program, and along with the entertainment, information, and a free meal, participants will receive an Encuentro T-shirt.
Now in its 10th year, Encuentro was established in 1997 when members of the university and Huntsville communities came together to reach out to help Hispanic families improve their lives through education.
The volunteer Encuentro board of directors includes members from the Sam Houston State University departments of foreign languages, history, education, dance, and criminal justice, as well as Huntsville school district principals, administrators, faculty and staff.
Hispanic members of the community also serve on the board, along with representatives from the local League of United Latin American Citizens chapter.
For more information, call 936.294.1487.
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