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October/November 2010

AMERICANA

COMMUNITY CENTER Where Louisville Meets the World!


About Americana .................................... Americana Community Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides a spectrum of services for the many diverse residents of Metro Louisville. These services enable people to discover and utilize resources to build strong families, create a safe, supportive community, and realize their individual potential.

The center provides an array of social services and referrals explicitly designed to respond to the specific and changing needs of our clients. The programs and services are constantly re-evaluated to determine the efficiency and appropriateness. The area surrounding Americana Community Center has become a vibrant mix of refugee, immigrant and U.S.-born families. Great ethnic and economic diversity provides a wealth of challenges and opportunities. To meet these challenges and opportunities, Americana Community Center was established and continues to be a resource for area families. The Center currently serves individuals from over 75 countries who speak more than 45 languages.

Inside this Newsletter... 1 Family Education 8 Adult Learning Center 2 Community Garden 8-9 Volunteer Opportunities 3 Youth Programs 9 Congratulations! 4 Creative Arts 10-13 What’s Going On? 5 Volunteer Spotlight 13 Thank You! 6 Americana Fiberworks 14 Americana Staff 7 Teen Advocacy A look at our Family Education Program A garden of many cultures

A look at programs offered to our youth Visual Arts, Hip hop and Dance Spotlight on Rosario Pusateri

Using artistic skills to expand literacy

Americana youth attend Diversity Research and Teaching Symposium

A look at our instructional program for adults

Looking to volunteer? Come see us

Staff member becomes U.S. Citizen

Recent and upcoming events

A big thanks to those who help us succeed Staff email listing

Americana Community Center; 4801 Southside Drive, Louisville, KY, 40214. (502)366.7813


Family Education

The Family Education Program seeks to support immigrant and refugee parents in acquiring the tools necessary to promote their children’s academic success, while increasing their own English language proficiency and meeting personal educational goals. Americana utilizes a literacy model that includes the following four components: Adult Education (English as a Second Language instruction), Children’s Education, Parent Education, and Parent and Child Together Time (PACT). The program incorporates English language instruction with practical parenting and life skills, focusing on aiding successful integration of families into their new surroundings. Parents and their children participate in PACT activities together, promoting parents as their children’s first teacher and allowing collaboration as a family unit. While caregivers attend the Adult Education courses, children participate in developmentally appropriate activities, learning social and academic skills and increasing school preparedness. These components comprise the holistic, family-centered style of learning encompassed by the Family Education Program. Family Education holds classes in the morning and evenings. Morning classes run from 10

a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday-Thursday, serving caregivers and their children between the ages of four months and five years. Evening classes take place MondayWednesday, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The evening program serves the same population, but as parents often have older children, it incorporates schoolaged siblings into the program as well. Currently, the school-aged children take part in educational and recreational activities; however, the curriculum for this population is being modified and developed further, in order to better meet the needs of the children served.

Student Biography THA KU PO My name is Tha Ku Po. I am from Burma. I have lived in the United States for three years. I have eight children. My hair is black. My eyes are brown. I am short. I like school, I like stories, I like coke, I like shopping and I like cleaning my home. My children like to play ball, they like to play games and they like to play soccer.

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Community Garden

Americana Community Center is located within a notably low-income area of Louisville, which is also an incredibly diverse community of immigrant, refugee and U.S.-born families. The Community Garden, which broke ground in the spring of 2006, is one of many programs and services offered to the community. Gardeners utilizing the plots come from all over the world, from Bosnia to the Congo to Vietnam.  It is an amazing sight to watch the gardeners – who do not share the same language or culture – working side by side, communicating through caring for the land.  Many of the gardeners come from areas of the world where subsistence gardening is a way of life.  Now, they have been resettled in urban areas of Louisville, often in apartment complexes, with little to no green space.  The garden at Americana provides the opportunity to regain a former way of life and is a resource for growing food.  Additionally, a rain garden was built in 2008. 

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This garden was designed and installed to capture rainwater from the building’s roof and prevent it from entering the city’s sewers. The garden was built by eight immigrant and refugee youth from Bosnia, Croatia, Congo, Haiti, Liberia and Somalia.  The youth were included in every phase, from design to installation and maintenance of plants.  During this project, students learned the importance of proper planning, coordination, and “big picture” thinking. The Americana Community Garden is the basis of several community programs. The first program is our Community Garden Program, which will undergo several changes this year. This program will consist of 15 families from within the Americana community. For $25, they will purchase a plot that is theirs for the entire growing season. Growers will not only grow produce in their plots, but will also attend monthly trainings related to organic gardening, health or environmental issues. They will gather together to cook on two nights during the growing season, and will volunteer seven hours of their time to keep the Community Garden grounds in good shape. The second program is the Americana Serves Youth program. Americana offers year-round Youth Programming to all school-age children, including both an After School and a Summer Program.  In the spring and summer, garden activities are offered for interested youth.  The target is for one activity or lesson to be offered per week at the end of the After School Program, and throughout the Summer Program.  In 2009-2010, ninetyfive children participated in gardening activities.  Activities consisted of learning about plant structure and environmental benefits of plants, transplanting plants into the kids’ garden, and playing ageappropriate games that dealt with living ecologically friendly.  The third program utilizing the garden is our Family Education Program. This program works with multicultural refugee and immigrant families to support education and successful community


integration of the entire family. The Family Education Program serves as an avenue for parents and children to be engaged together in a healthy and creative way. In the past, Family Education has had two small plots where they were able to grow some of their own food and base a few lessons around food growth and preparation. This year, we have tilled up a 40 foot by 25 foot plot for the adults and their children to delve deeper into the production, preparation and perhaps sale of organic fruits and vegetables. The last program that shares the garden is our Youth Work Crew, which is a program that was started to hire at-risk youth during the summer to teach job skills, responsibility, and financial literacy, with a focus on landscaping projects, environmental issues, and community gardening. A major advance in this program has been witnessing the maturation of

students as they demonstrate their skills and ability to work together. The project this year consisted of nine refugee youth between the ages of 16-18 years old. For nine weeks over their summer break, the Youth Work Crew worked 25 hours a week to beautify the Americana Community Center, grow vegetables and learn as much as they could related to lawn care, agriculture, landscaping and the environment. Each morning began with a discussion of a peaceful world leader, followed by a lesson related to the environment, agriculture, landscaping, or gardening. During the last few weeks of the program, the Youth Work Crew began teaching the hour-long Kids’ Garden class for the Americana Serves Youth participants – younger children that looked up to the older youth – about what they had learned working in the garden.

Youth Programs Americana Community Center After School Program

In the 2009-2010 school year, Americana served 403 youth in its After School Program, with an average daily attendance of 90-100 youth. The After School Program offers a variety of academic and enrichment activities, serving refugee, immigrant and

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U.S.-born youth from K through 12th grades, with over 90 percent of enrollees children of immigrants or refugees. Americana’s After School Program partners with Dare to Care Food Bank to offer Kids Cafe four days per week where youth are served a hot meal. Academic activities include after school homework help, which utilizes tutors for individual and small group sessions, JCPS ESL classes for K through 6th grades, Every1Reads tutoring and its sub-program for teens, Right2Read. After homework is completed youth are invited to participate in an array of enrichment activities, including creative arts programming such as hip hop class, art classes, and girls’ dance. Other enrichment activities specialize in areas of health and wellness, including Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, open gym, a Teen Program which includes weekly teen talks about specific topics affecting today’s youth, a teen advocacy group, and special events. Seasonal recreational activities include Boys’ Basketball, Girls’ Basketball, Soccer, Flag Football, and Tae Kwan Do. All these activities give youth choices to participate in programs and activities they are interested in, while working hard for academic achievement, gaining important leadership skills, and developing positive self-esteem.


Creative Arts

The Creative Arts program offered during our After School Youth Program is collaboration between Americana staff, interns, community partners and the families we serve. We strive to provide arts enrichment programming five days a week in the areas of visual arts, hip hop, and dance. The program goals are to allow students a safe space for creative expression where sensory integration can take place and students can use art to process their emotions and histories. We want to expose students to styles and genres of the arts they previously have not experienced, and allow them to learn new concepts they can use in all aspects of life. Students receive instruction in visual arts four days a week in a nurturing space that promotes creativity. Sessions are structured to run for four weeks, and highlight different styles of art. Students have been exposed to mosaic and calligraphy, and have completed projects such as water color representations of famous artists’ works. We encourage participants to think about our program in long term concepts, and have space

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within the art room to store projects. In November, we began partnering with Beechmont Neighborhood Association to do a four-week introduction to pottery. Ten students are benefiting from these classes. We will also be working with Louisville Visual Arts Association on a project that incorporates students from our After School program and families participating in Family Education. The Creative Arts Program is always seeking to build more community partnerships! The Hip Hop Project at Americana has made some great strides towards using hip hop music as a medium for educational and creative enrichment. Â Students have been engaged in the critical study of global hip hop music and culture, have broadened their perspective and appreciation of music both locally and globally. The students have also been working on acquiring skills to make their own original music, and have been inspired to write and create daily outside of the program. One student has completed at least seven finished musical pieces with original lyrics and instrumentation. The Hip Hop


Project’s focus on original lyric and poetry writing has given the students an outlet through which they can express their life experiences and aspirations. The public aspect of the project, where students are able to offer their music for free listening and download on the internet, has provided the opportunity for the students’ ideas to have a global platform. The creative arts program is strengthened by our dedicated interns. Ashley Edwardson is in her final semester at University of Louisville as a photography major, and has been documenting visual arts classes since August. Emalene Benson, a senior at Bellarmine University studying arts administration and theatre, works intensively with our teen visual arts program. Joanna Thompson is joining us as our dance intern. She will be working closely with the teen girls’ dance team. Our teen dance team has nine members who work with Joanna, as well as Nakia, our Teen Program staff member, to create routines. The girls performed a dance routine to “Thriller” at our first teen dance of the year, where they integrated their own creativity by designing their costumes. We have also hosted a five week session of dance for our girls in kindergarten through sixth grade. The focus has been on exposing the students to jazz style and has been led by Kenley Downing, a volunteer from Bellarmine. Our Arts Reach grant will begin in January with Corey Mumpfort. He will be creating choreography workshops teaching teen girls how to pass on their dance skills to younger students through hip hop routines. The program focus will be on creating a mentoring relationship between our teens and younger children. Teens will work with the same student every week. We will collaborate with the hip hop class to have students create original instrumental beats for our choreography. Our goal is to integrate student-produced dance and music into a community arts night highlighting our youths’ achievements in the arts over the year. This community arts night will also underscore the photo project that the visual arts students will be participating in beginning in December. Students will receive photo composition instruction from Ashley Edwardson and Jason Crigler, and we will work with OJ Connell to produce black and white photos. Our goal for the photo exhibit is to highlight concepts of community and identity through the eyes of our youth.

Volunteer H

Spotlight

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Rosario Pusateri is a University of Louisville student who began volunteering at Americana in May of this year in the After School Program. He has been an outstanding volunteer. Not only did he put out yard signs for Americana World Festival in June, he volunteered for the entire length of the event (8hours!). Ross currently volunteers twice a week in the library during the After School Program providing much-needed math expertise to the students there for tutoring and homework help. He says, “It helped me figure out what I want to do with my life. I want to teach.” Ross commented that tutoring is a fulfilling experience that has tangible results. He saw grades improve and had kids coming back to him for help. Youth Program staff members commented, “Ross clearly stands out as a dedicated and motivated volunteer. His personality is calm, thoughtful, patient and purposeful.  He’s highly sought-after for his tutorial assistance in math and science.  He has been making an impact on homework scores and students’ understanding. The way he displays his personality qualities inside of the Youth Program brings peace, seriousness and a quality work ethic to our kids’ lives. This is where Ross has made and will continue to make a long-term impact. Ross’s service is unique and truly awesome. Our program is better in so many ways because of him.  Ross is incredible.”


Americana Fiberworks

Americana Fiberworks is a women’s arts and educational group designed to support the positive integration of refugee and immigrant women into the Louisville community using a common interest in fiber arts. By learning and sharing artistic skills, expanding literacy skills, exploring U.S. culture, and developing social networks, participants help one another develop the confidence, skills and resources necessary to identify and pursue goals for themselves and their families as they adapt to their new home in Louisville. The program meets three times a week, integrating English as a Second Language curriculum and fiber arts. Participants work on their English skills as they learn about their surrounding community and share their own cultures with one another. Participants work on fiber arts projects including sewing, knitting, crocheting, and tie-dye. They have recently started to create jewelry and are discussing staying healthy in the winter and heating the home safely. Women use the skills they learn to make items for themselves and their families. They also create items to sell in the community at art fairs and festivals. Recently, Fiberworks participants sold their art at WorldFest on the Belvedere and during the South End tour in the Community Leadership Institute conference. Profits from these sales are divided between the artist who made the item and

the program. Some women have been able to get jobs thanks to the textile skills they have learned at Americana. Currently, the women in Fiberworks are completing an order of tissue box covers for 21C Museum Hotel. 21C includes a boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, award-winning restaurant and cultural civic center. It is nestled in the heart of Museum Row in historic downtown Louisville. The box covers are used in all of their guest rooms and are sold in the hotel gift shop. The Knit Nook in the Highlands also sells Fiberworks products. The Knit Nook is a local yarn store that fosters a community for all knitters and crocheters, and specializes in fine yarns, hand-painted, natural and fair-trade fibers. Currently, The Knit Nook sells bags that the women dyed in the summer. The women in Fiberworks prove its value through their constant attendance, dedication to and interest in the program. The skills they learn and share, and the social networks that are created in the program, promote among participants self-esteem, independence, and a sense of accomplishment that comes from realizing and using their creative freedom.

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Teen Advocacy

From left to right: Khilih Boah, Aryea Kolubah, Agor Duot, and Quluda Hashi. Recently, a new initiative was started within the Americana Youth Program titled the “Teen Advocacy Project,” with funding from the Center for Health Equity. The goal of the project is for participants to understand the power they have to make positive changes in their communities. Throughout the summer, teenage youth met weekly to talk about the concepts of advocacy and social justice and together decided on a social issue that was important to them - the right to an interpreter. Through Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, agencies receiving federal funding are required to provide effective language access to limited English proficient (LEP) persons. Many youth have had the experience of missing school to interpret for their parents at doctor’s appointments or at the food stamp office. These discussions led to the decision to focus the project around language access. During the After-School Program the youth have continued to meet weekly to learn more about the issue. On Saturday, November 6, four of the youth had the special opportunity to attend the Diversity Research and Teaching Symposium held at Indiana State University, along with Americana staff members. The youth presented at one of the

workshops, titled “Language Access, Title VI, and Interpreter Use.” Their audience was very engaged in the presentation and many stayed to talk to the youth afterward. “One of the best things about the conference was I could tell we touched some people in the room”, said Quluda Hashi, age 15. Quluda, originally from Somalia, shared a personal story of her experiences interpreting for her grandfather and mother. “This was definitely a great experience for the youth,” said Maria Blough, Grant Manager. “The professionals in the room definitely learned something from the presentation, and it was so great to have the youth realize that they are able to teach something to adults.”

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Adult Learning Center The Jefferson County Public Schools Adult & Continuing Education program at Americana provides a full-service instructional program for adults in our community. Classes are offered in reading, language, and math for those adults seeking upgrades in those areas and/or for those seeking their GED. The Americana Adult Learning Center is one of the most successful programs in Jefferson County and offers students a variety of options regarding class times, dates, and levels of instruction. Online

instruction is also available to those learners who are not able to attend class during the scheduled days and times. Our dedicated and professional staff provide outstanding instruction through managed classes as well as through multi-level open classes. If you, a friend or family member would like to start classes at Americana, please call our Student Services Center at 502-485-3400 to schedule an appointment to take the enrollment test.

Volunteer Opportunities We currently have over 80 active volunteers in our various programs. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks and responsibilities. They are valued members of the ACC team and we are extremely grateful for them! Please see below to find out how you can get involved. After School Program: Assist school-age youth with completing homework, enjoying arts, recreation, and computer activities. Program schedule: Monday-Thursday from 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Family Education: Volunteers are needed to engage children in the early childhood education room and to assist teachers with programming in the adult education room. In the evenings volunteers can help school-age children in the computer lab and with homework. Program Schedule: 10 p.m.-1 p.m Monday-Thursday. 5:30p.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday Americana Fiberworks: Volunteers engage women in ESL curriculum and aid them in developing their conversational English. Volunteers with craft experience (sewing, crocheting, tie-dye, knitting, etc.) are invaluable to the program. Volunteers are also needed to engage children during the week while their mothers are in class. Program Schedule: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; occasional selling events on weekends Community Garden: Volunteers assist with various projects that improve the growing capacity of our garden throughout the year. Hours are very flexible.

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VITA: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance is a free tax preparation service provided twice a week during tax season in partnership with the Louisville Asset Building Coalition. In 2009, Americana served 434 families and individuals, generating $506,721 in returns back into the local economy. Some volunteer positions in this program require training. Volunteers greet clients, verify documentation and help prepare tax returns. Program Schedule: Wednesday evenings & Saturday mornings starting in January Translating/Interpreting: Americana is frequently in need of informal translation and interpreting services. Native speakers of languages represented at the Center are needed to help with printed translation of Americana materials and with informal interpretation in some programming sessions. Special Events: Volunteer at one of our annual special events! • Americana World Festival - First Saturday in June • Fall Carnival - The week before Halloween • Winter Festival (for 300+ neighborhood kids!) - December 17, 2010 • Monthly Family Nights (for community families) - Variable days. Group projects: There are always opportunities for groups to complete one-day projects at the Center. Usually these are maintenance/ improvement projects like painting or cleaning. This is a great volunteer opportunity for businesses, families, students, etc. We also have several internship positions available year-round. For more information about our Volunteer Program or internship opportunities, please contact us at 502-366-7813 or elizabeth@americanacc.org

Congratulations! We’d like to congratulate Facility Attendant Victorine Habimana on recently becoming a U.S. citizen! Victorine was born in the Congo and came to the United States in 2003. She has worked at Americana for three years, and has five children. In preparation for her citizenship test, Victorine determinedly studied, and in August, passed the challenging exam. She was honored, along with other new Americans, at WordFest in September. Victorine’s presence at Americana benefits the center and staff every day. Along with fellow Facility Attendant Prady Rivera, Victorine possesses great knowledge about all the operational and logistical details of the center. When in doubt regarding anything in the facility, we turn to Victorine for the answer! Additionally, Victorine’s personality is the highlight to many of our days. She constantly offers big-hearted support and wise words for her co-workers, which,

along with her joyful and witty nature, makes her an indispensable part of the Americana team! Our hats off to you, Victorine!

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What’s Going On?

for community education and enrichment. Recently, two students were recognized by the Louisville Urban League for their original musical work entitled “Chini ya Jua”(translated as “Under the Sun” from Kiswahili). Eric Mbirizi and Jean-Claude Ntakiratumana received the “Do the Right Thing” award for “Creative Achievement and Humanitarian Endeavors” for their song which discusses the issues of prejudice, civil war, political corruption, and child soldiers. The students will complete work soon on a full album’s worth of original material that they will release to the community at an upcoming Teen Program event.

Mayoral Forum On October 20, 2010, Americana Community Center was able to welcome then-candidate in the mayoral race Greg Fischer to address some of the concerns and priorities of Louisville’s international community. An excellent group of international leaders represented their communities on the panel that spoke to Mr. Fischer, creating an exciting and engaging event for all! Prior to the forum, 17 representatives of diverse communities put together a report on Louisville’s internationals and proposal to reopen the Office for International Affairs, which was presented to all mayoral candidates.

Click here to view “Chini ya Jua” on YouTube. Fall Carnival Our yearly Fall Carnival was held on October 28, 2010. Families with children of all ages celebrated with costumes and candy and participated in carnival games like face painting, ring toss and crafts.

National Immigrant Integration Conference The National Immigrant Integration Conference was held in Boston from September 29 - October 1, 2010, bringing together hundreds of service providers, policymakers, academics, professionals and donors in the realm of immigrant and refugee issues in the U.S. Kristin Burgoyne, Maria Blough, and Lara Miramontes represented Americana at the conference, where influential speakers included Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, foremost academic Robert Putnam of Harvard, and U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. Also featured were diverse community practitioners whose service and advocacy span the nation, making the conference an excellent opportunity for networking, education and inspiration.

Fall Teen Dance

Americana Hip Hop Project The students enrolled in the class continue to gain musical skill, perspective, and recognition for their continuing work in using hip hop music as a tool

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On Friday, October 29th we held our first Teen Dance at the center. The teens were able to come out and dance to the best music from all over the world. The music was mixed by our very own DJ Self Kuwa. The teen girls performed a dance for the whole party.


Community Leadership Institutes (CLI) South Louisville Bus Tour Welcome to the diverse South End of Louisville! On October 23rd, Americana Community Center staff hosted the South Louisville bus tour for Neighborworks America’s conference Community Leadership Institute (CLI). Forty-three CLI attendees from across the nation participated in the bus tour. Participants experienced a brief refugee immersion experience, received information about Backside Learning Center and its work with the horsemen and -women (largely Hispanic) working on the backside of Churchill Downs, completed a tour of Iroquois Library, and participated in Q & A at Americana Community Center. The women from Americana Fiberworks sold their handmade goods while participants learned about the changing face of Louisville’s South End and neighborhood agencies’ dedicated work with new Americans in our community. Kentucky American Indian Resource and Community Center Pow Wow The Kentucky American Indian Resource and Community Center, Americana Community Center’s newest in-house partner, held their 10th annual “Honor Our Veterans Pow Wow” at Americana on November 13, 2010. The day-long event featured traditional drumming, singing and dances involving both the Native American community and others, and there was food, fun and prizes. The pow wow’s head staff were all veterans, and many veterans attended and were recognized in a powerful display by the hundreds of people who participated in the pow wow throughout the day.

Community Garden We are currently looking into purchasing a taller, sturdier fence for the Community Garden in order to reduce theft, vandalism and anxiety amongst the growers. Once we are able to install the fence that will enclose the Family Education plot, the kid’s garden, and the Community Garden, we will begin working on a no-mow lawn project in order to reduce our need to mow the grass. (Mowing the grass for one hour produces emissions into the environment equivalent to driving 200 miles.) In doing this, we will remove all patches of grass and replace them with native plants that will attract more wildlife to the gardens. Another project of the Americana Community Garden is the building-wide effort to reduce the amount of garbage thrown out everyday by means of a largescale composting program. Brian Barnes, a professor from Bellarmine, is coming to Americana with 15 students to build 10 compost bins out of wooden pallets and hardware cloth. Once these bins are set up, the Community Garden will work with Kids’ Café, Family Education, and any other program here that involves food to have the food scraps (non-meat and non-dairy) placed in a separate bin and carried out to the compost on a daily basis. This will be a great way to teach the children about composting, landfills, gardening, nutrition, and food production. The second step is to include our staff in the project. Since we now have a place for composting, every staff member is encouraged to keep a bucket in their kitchen at home, where non-dairy and non-meat scraps and/or any other compostable materials can be placed and later, dumped in the compost at the Americana Community Garden. Once the staff component is successfully running, we will reach out to local restaurants and coffee shops, many of whom have already expressed interest, to help them reduce waste and to plump up our compost piles. This project is a great way for the Americana Community Center to become more self-sustainable, to reduce our carbon footprint, to heal our little piece of land, and to produce nutrient-dense food for our families here at the Center. In other Community Garden news, we recently had

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two group volunteer workdays to prepare the garden for the winter. The first one was Saturday, November 6th and the second one was Saturday, November 13. We had a total of 30 volunteers come out to help! A Huge Thank You to: Judy Behanan, Mason Cox, Naw Klae, Sarah Zarontonello, Dominic Phelps, Tim Darst, Jaclyn Cox, Brian Barnes, Jared Zarontonello, Brittany Crenshaw, Alfred Snetter, Adam Villanova, Connie Dorval, Pascal Ndikubaganwa, John Havron, Mika Thomasson, Rodolfo Bernal, Nyandwi Ndikubaganwa, Jonathon Selvage, Lauren Tankersley, Elijah McKenzie, Victorine Habimana, Molly Egolf, Kathleen Gallagher, Annie Miller, Maria Blough, Lara Miramontes, Jason Crigler, Jake Wildstrom, Stephen Bartlett.

encourage the intermediate or advanced speakers to slow down and polish their Spanish. Americana’s Tertulias will be held every Monday night from 6:30 p.m. -8 p.m. at a local restaurant or coffee shop. This event is free. Just bring a SpanishEnglish dictionary and/or a poem, saying or short story in Spanish. If interested in participating, please contact Lauren Sawayer at 502-366-7813 or Lauren@ americanacc.org. A Journey of Opportunity: A United Call for the Re-creation of the Louisville Metro Office for International Affairs

The garden is very close to being ready for winter and four new compost bins were built! Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

“A Journey of Opportunity” was a report and proposal by 17 representatives of Louisville’s international communities, including Lara Miramontes and Edgardo Mansilla of Americana Community Center. Over the course of several months, the contributors met at Americana and corresponded to compile the document. It was submitted on September 22, 2010 to three candidates at the time for Louisville’s mayoral post: Greg Fischer, Hal Heiner, and Jackie Green. Referencing national immigration literature and local initiatives alike, “A Journey of Opportunity” acted as a comprehensive introduction to Louisville’s internationals - diverse individuals including immigrants, refugees, and others - and their priorities in Louisville, the new community that they have come to call home. The most pressing need that the international community identified was reopening the local Office for International Affairs, which closed its doors in early 2010; thus, “A Journey of Opportunity” included a concise proposal to reestablish the OIA.

We accomplished a lot but there is still (fun) work to be done. Please contact Lauren at 502-366-7813 or Lauren@americanacc.org if interested in helping out. Tertulia On Monday, November 22, 2010, the Americana Community Center held its first weekly Tertulia at the Gardiner Lane Heine Bros. Tertulias are social gatherings with literary or artistic overtones held in Spanish. They are a fun way to get people together and out of their houses during the week and to put the Spanish that one already knows to use in conversation. People of any level can come and feel comfortable. Those that speak more Spanish are able to communicate with those just learning by encouraging them to search their word bank and put sentences together. Those that are just learning

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Mayor-elect Greg Fischer has now identified


reestablishing the OIA as one of his immediate priorities. An article published in the Courier-Journal on November 17, 2010, “International affairs office in Louisville to be revived” by journalist Peter Smith, highlighted “A Journey of Opportunity” and Mr. Fischer’s plans. A big “thank you” to all involved in compiling and supporting the report - you played a significant part in the real, positive community change that we will be seeing in the coming year! Winter Teen Dance

another! So bring your friends and don’t forget your dancing shoes! Right2Read participants who have made progress towards their goals will enjoy a free VIP pass to the Winter Teen Dance which includes free admission, a free slice of pizza, a free soda, and a special VIP area near the DJ. Regular admission cost is $3 per person and includes a slice of pizza and soda. Extra pizza and soda will be available for a minimal cost. This event will function as a fundraiser for the Teen Program.

The teens will get another chance to show off their dance moves on December 10th from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. at Americana Community Center’s second Teen Dance of the year. The first dance in October was such a hit, the youth staff decided to throw the teens

In the spirit of the holidays, Americana Community Center will be closed on December 24th and 25th, December 31st and January 1st. Have a safe and happy holiday season and see you next year!

Days Closed

Thank You!

Our work is not possible without the generous support of our funding and program partners. A big THANK YOU to all of our supporters. Adelante Hispanic Achievers; Boy Scouts; Broadway Baptist Church; Brown-Forman Corporation; Catholic Charities; the Center for Health Equity; Church of the Epiphany; Community Foundation of Louisville; Corporation for National Community and Community Service (AmeriCorps* VISTA Program); C E & S Foundation; Cralle Foundation; Dare to Care; Dollar General Literacy Foundation; Every1Reads; Family Health Centers, Inc.; GE Employees; General Mills Foundation; Gheens Foundation; Girl Scouts; Girard’s Hardware; Hispanic Latino Coalition; Humana; IBM Reading Companion Grant Program; Ignite Louisville; James Graham Brown Foundation; Jefferson County Public Schools; Kentuckiana Works; Kentucky Center ArtsReach program; Kentucky Office for Refugees; Kentucky Refugee Ministries; Kosair Charities; Louisville Asset Building Coalition; Louisville Free Public Library; Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government; Louisville Metro Council; Louisville Visual Arts Association; Metro United Way – Gheens “Bridges to Tomorrow” project; National Center for Family Literacy; Norton Foundation; Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation; Phelps Hardware; South Louisville Community Ministries; St. Williams Church; Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky; University of Louisville; UPS Foundation; ValuMarket; WHAS Crusade for Children. Americana Community Center is currently undergoing a capital campaign for a renovation project that will begin in 2011. Our more than 50-year-old building will be undergoing an energy efficient make-over which will reduce our annual utility and repair costs by as much as 50%. Renovations will include a new energyefficient roof and windows throughout the building, central air and heating, and electrical updates. Renovations also include the addition of an elevator and a restructured lobby for improved security of the building. These important efforts will make the building a safer and more comfortable environment while allowing us to operate more efficiently, redirecting money currently used for utilities and maintenance toward programming for youth and families. The dream of major renovations has become a reality with the support of two local foundations. The James Graham Brown Foundation has awarded an $850,000 challenge grant toward the project, and Kosair Charities a $1,000,000 million grant. We want to say a special thank you for the gifts these organizations provide to improve our local community!

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Staff Americana ....................................

Nermina Ahmic................................................................................................................nermina@americanacc.org Romell Barbes.................................................................................................................... romell@americanacc.org Johnella Barlow.................................................................................................................................................... NA Rebecka Bloomer . .......................................................................................................... rebecka@americanacc.org Maria Blough ......................................................................................................................maria@americanacc.org Natalie Borsch..................................................................................................................... natalieborsch@mac.com Kristin Burgoyne . ............................................................................................................. kristin@americanacc.org Brad Castleberry.........................................................................................................................mbcast06@aol.com Sylvia Church .................................................................................................................... sylvia@americanacc.org Wayne Couvillion................................................................................... wayne.couvillion@jefferson.kyschools.us Jason Crigler ..................................................................................................................... jasonc@americanacc.org Julie Driscoll............................................................................................................................. scnjdris@gmail.com Basima Duhoki....................................................................................................................duhoki.ba@hotmail.com Rebekah Farley ............................................................................................................... rebekah@americanacc.org Celeste Goodwin....................................................................................... celeste.goodwin@jefferson.kyschools.us Patricia Gould ..................................................................................................................patricia@americanacc.org Roberto Guerra.....................................................................................................................................................N/A Victorine Habimana.............................................................................................................................................. NA Nakia Harris ........................................................................................................................ nakia@americanacc.org Heather Hoffmann .........................................................................................................heatherh@americanacc.org Hannah Mael...............................................................................................................................hrmael@gmail.com Edgardo Mansilla ............................................................................................................edgardo@americanacc.org Lara Miramontes . ..................................................................................................................lara@americanacc.org Elizabeth Perkins .......................................................................................................... elizabeth@americanacc.org Michael Poindexter ......................................................................................................... michael@americanacc.org Yaslin Pupo-Morea............................................................................................................................................... NA Mary Ann Riehls................................................................................................................ theriehls@insightbb.com Prady Rivera.......................................................................................................................................................... NA Lauren Sawayer .................................................................................................................lauren@americanacc.org Charles Spivey .................................................................................................................. charles@derbycityit.com Amanda Steinhauer . ....................................................................................................... amanda@americanacc.org Jason Wadowski . ................................................................................................................ jason@americanacc.org Trina Wells......................................................................................................................... trinaw@americanacc.org Meagan Wise......................................................................................................................mlwise03@louisville.edu Jared Zarantonello . ..............................................................................................................jared@americanacc.org Sarah Zarantonello .............................................................................................................. sarah@americanacc.org Interns Linda Chia ...........................................................................................................................linda@americanacc.org Jennifer Monroe ........................................................................................................... jenniferm@americanacc.org Sandra Moxley .................................................................................................................. sandra@americanacc.org Jennifer Slaiman ............................................................................................................jennifers@americanacc.org *For full staff biographies see the Americana Staff Directory.

14

Fall 2010  

Fall 2010 Americana Community Center eNewsletter

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