Local artisans, One Telluride and U.S. Bank are collaborating on a holiday event on Noel Night, Wednesday, Dec. 1. U.S. Bank is generously sponsoring the event. They will have their traditional free picture taken with Santa along with free chili, cookies and drinks. Some “south of the border” finger food will also be served and Latino music will accompany the event. The artisans have generously agreed to donate a percentage of their profits to One Telluride, a local nonprofit dedicated to the mission of immigrant integration in the Telluride area. They will be selling jewelry, silver, silk scarves, painted wine glasses, bags and more; a silent auction will accompany the event, running through Noel night, with plenty of time to place bid on locally donated items.
As the demographic of the workforce has changed in Telluride, so has the need to support an immigrant community that is learning English, understanding how various systems work here and how to live comfortably in one’s own community. One Telluride has a variety of programming to accomplish those goals. Currently about 30 students from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Argentina, China and Nepal attend One Telluride’s English as a Second Language classes twice a week. In addition four volunteers work with 12 students in Norwood and nine pairings are practicing together in the “Intercambio” program where native English and Spanish speakers are matched to practice and help with each other’s language.
One Telluride also collaborates with Bright Futures, with a bilingual parent educator working with 18 Latino children through the Parents as Teachers program, an early childhood education program effectively designed to close the achievement gap when children enter kindergarten. Also on the education front, Telluride R-1 school district and the Telluride Education Foundation have funded the work of Salvadoran/American child psychologist Dr. Selena Sermeños’ work with the Latino population at the school, in an effort to approach academic achievement from a social-emotional perspective. Other grant funds are being sought to enable One Telluride outreach with school counselors, Latino parents and their children to model how parent involvement works in the education system here and for goal setting with their children.
In 2011, Dr. Sermeño will also host cultural competency modules offered to a number of key groups in the community; One to One mentors and others that work with children, school personnel, the business community and local nonprofit entities.
One Telluride runs the local interpretation/translation service in Telluride as well. Hundreds of hours of work have been done since its 2004 inception, with the San Miguel Resource Center. Many local organizations (particularly children’s organizations) have had documents translated to encourage immigrant participation in community events for children and adults; private, public and nonprofit sectors all use the service.
Along with school intervention, One Telluride serves children in other areas. “Red is Rojo” is a popular after-school activity-based Spanish program offered to first through third graders, taught through creative play, art and music. The Ah Haa School for the Arts collaborates on the initiative, providing in-kind space and some supplies, and La Hora de Cuentos is a can’t-miss bilingual reading time at Wilkinson Public Library, Thursdays at 11 a.m. One Telluride also collaborates with the Wilkinson Public Library to celebrate Día de los Niños y Libros (a nationally recognized holiday) every April 31. This year was a tremendous success, with over 300 attendees, kids activities, home-cooked traditional Latino food and a local Mexican band!
One Telluride’s main cultural event is its Family Fiesta, a collaboration with the Telluride Jazz Festival, which provides select Latino music and space in Elks Park where local immigrant friends provide food, face painting and piñatas for the kids, an indoor soccer tournament for adults and a wonderful opportunity for all community members to celebrate together. One Telluride also hosts a bilingual radio show on KOTO Mondays at 11 a.m., featuring the “Immigrant Stories” series, has initiatives involving law enforcement, health care, transportation and housing and business and employment as well.
The walk-in resource center provides assistance to the immigrant community an all areas of their life here in an effort to teach them how things work here and to help them feel comfortable in their community. Please visit the One Telluride website at www.onetelluride.org and please come support this valuable nonprofit and our local artisans at U.S. Bank on Noel Night!