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Encuentro 2010 To Reach Out To Area Hispanic Families

Sept. 24, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Tara Lestarjette

Sam Houston State University will reach out to Hispanic families, during Encuentro 2010 on Oct. 9, providing them with beneficial information on the importance of education and other practical life skills.

Encuentro will be held in the SHSU Lowman Student Center from 1-5:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 1 p.m. at the LSC Ballroom entrance. The conference includes informational seminars, exhibitors’ booths, raffles and prizes, dinner, daylong music and entertainment, free of charge and for those of all ages.

“Our university's mission is to educate and to meet the needs of our community,” said Charles Heath, assistant professor of history and a faculty sponsor for the conference. “Encuentro's mission is exactly the same, but with an emphasis on our Hispanic community.

“Our local Hispanic community represents potential future Bearkats,” said Heath. “By welcoming these families, we hope to enable them to envision an academic career for themselves or their children at our university. Our educatory mission is that they become familiar with the vast resources available to them locally.”

Parents may attend informative seminars about family finance, immigration and legal issues, family health, college preparation for their high school children, English as a second language and public education in the region. There will also be a series of presentations from motivational and self-empowerment speakers.

“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, as well as to learn of the services available to them in the region” said Heath.

High school students will meet in the LSC Kat Klub from 2-5 p.m. for a full program of activities, information about college preparation, test-taking, financial aid and applications.

There will also be a session on “Career Cruising” interactive program for 11th and 12th graders at the SHSU Go Center Trailer, the ROTC wall climbing and entertainment from SHSU student Nyseli Vega and Houston guitarist Jose Antonio. There will also be a Kung Fu San Soo and “Parkour” demonstration.

Art and crafts project rooms will be available for elementary and intermediate students and a field trip to the SHSU observatory will be offered.

First United Methodist Church of Huntsville will provide licensed childcare for infants and activity rooms directed by Huntsville Independent School District teachers and students from the College of Education.

Exhibitor booths include SHSU Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Office, The Student Money Management Center, ROTC, Planned Parenthood, Boys and Girls Club of Huntsville, the Walker County Sheriff’s office, SAAFE House, YMCA, Arte Publico, Literal, Voces Latinoamericanas, the Huntsville Public Library, the Huntsville Memorial Hospital, Dragon’s Temple Kung Fu, Writing Life Experience, LULAC, WIC, Hospitality House, Come Center and Head Start.

“As part of Encuentro, we provide a large amount of information for the parents through seminars, plus activities for the teens, pre-teens and children while on our campus,” said history professor and faculty sponsor of the conference, Caroline Castillo-Crimm. “It is a great opportunity for us to help our Hispanic community improve themselves through education.”

Rosa Valles, principal of Gibbs Elementary, will give the keynote address.

A Texas-style barbecue will be offered to all attendees in the LSC Ballroom. The dinner program includes music and dance performances from Chicahuac Feather Dance and Latin Jazz Trio and Steel Drum Band from the SHSU School of Music.

The event is also sponsored by The Huntsville Independent School District and the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the SHSU departments of history and foreign languages, College of Education, the SHSU Student Money Management Center, ROTC, School of Music, admissions, financial aid, Student Activities and David Payne, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“In 2008, we hosted more than 200 families from southeast Texas, for over 500 participants,” said Heath. “This year will be our biggest and best event yet.”

For more information contact Heath 936.294.4430 or cvh003@shsu.edu.



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