Check out Our Current Programs

Featured Program: VEA

In Partnership With
Evansville Museum and Owensboro Museum

Young Girls of Color Leaders

An empowerment and leadership program for young girls of color that will provide them with opportunities

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This Program is supported by the GrantMakers for Girls of Color,
a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) in New York

Literacy and Leadership Programs
for the Latino Community

This Project is supported by the Old National Bank Foundation

Bilingual Reading Readiness for K- to 3rd Grade Latino Children in Evansville, IN

This bilingual program provides Latino children with reading tools in English and Spanish to help them become more independent and self-sufficient in their educational settings and surroundings. The program supports learning by advancing new strategies to:

  • Address English language acquisition and reading readiness in both English and Spanish;
  • Enrich students’ knowledge in English and Spanish so they become bilingual and value their heritage;
  • Provide activities such as games, discussions, story time, family conferences, and gatherings; and collaborate with families to create learning materials grounded in the cultural values of Latinos.
  • Let’s build skills in our Latino children to help them succeed and thrive in this country.

This Program is supported by the Old National Bank Foundation

VEA Girls of Color Leaders Tell their Stories

The VEA girls of Color reading and storytelling program is essential for leadership and empowerment to expose the girls to good reading materials and writers that will help them understand the importance of reading and storytelling. But, more specifically to help them love reading and learn their own value through good examples and great literature. This will in turn motivate them to understand how powerful their stories are. There is a real need for Latina girls and other girls of color to be more exposed to good literature and writers that will teach them good ways to read and understand leadership and empowerment through reading and writing.

The VEA girls of Color will be able to read several books and start the process of writing and telling their own stories through poetry, essays, short stories, or novels.

This Program is supported by the Old National Bank Foundation

VEA, Young Girls of Color Leaders in Owensboro, KY

Stories of Girls of Color

With Dr. Arcea Zapata de Aston’s leadership, the VEA, Voces en Acción/Voices in Action, Young Girls of Color Leaders in partnership with the Owensboro Museum of Science and History and thanks to a grant from Kentucky Foundation for Women provides the Owensboro young girls of color leaders some sessions in storytelling and creative writing to work closely with artists to enhance their talents and abilities to become leaders by telling their stories using their cultures’ music, cuisine, and other art making. The young girls of color leaders will develop an intercultural art community as a positive force for progressive cultural social change and self-determination. develop an intercultural art community as a positive force for progressive cultural, social change and self-determination that is intimately connected to their own history and traditions of stereotypes that have closed girls of color off from integration into society and the freedom they will experience in writing poetry, short stories, essays, novel, or documentary as a final testimony that they can perpetuate forever.

In partnership with
Owensboro Museum

This program is supported by a grant from Kentucky Foundation for Women

Past EDUCA Programs

We have Done a wide range of programs

Educational and Cultural Advancement for Latinos, Inc.’s (EDUCA) primary goal is to offer educational opportunities to the Latino community, especially English classes, as a means of integrating the emergent Hispanic population into local culture, thus empowering individuals to participate fully and productively in our community. EDUCA has been offering English as a Second Language for over 10 years.

Opening New Horizons, a University of Evansville’s (UE) new community service-learning program created and directed by Assistant Professor of Spanish Arcea Zapata de Aston designed to engage university students in a community service project that was linked to academic studies received a $5,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation to help with the program. This paved the path for EDUCA.

Founded and directed by Professor Arcea Zapata de Aston, the Opening New Horizons Community Service-Learning Program had two major objectives: educational outreach and cultural exchange. UE students involved in the program offered English language classes to adults from the Hispanic community three times a week. These classes were open to the entire Hispanic community. Demand for the English classes continued to grow and they were offered by what later became EDUCA. There was, and still is, a need among the Evansville Hispanic population to become more engaged with the community around them. The primary obstacle Hispanics face is the language barrier. By learning English, Hispanics are better able to communicate and understand the society of their new adopted homes. They are able to thrive as active citizens and participate with less difficulty in the labor force.

EDUCA received support and sponsorship of many Evansville churches (Nativity Church, Lutheran Church, Memorial Baptist Church, and St. Anthony Catholic Church), the Evansville Public Library, organizations in Indiana and Kentucky (the Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis, Knudsen Community Center, Workone, Cape/Head Start, Lodge Community School, Centro Latino, and the Owensboro Museum of Science and History), and colleges (University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana, Brescia, and Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro).

EDUCA is poised to help motivate Latino immigrants overcome social and cultural barriers to more easily integrate themselves into the mainstream society. Integration of the Hispanic community into the larger Evansville community and Owensboro is encouraged through familiarization with and use of community resources as well as participation in community festivals and cultural events that showcase Hispanic culture. EDUCA assists Latinos negotiate the cultural landscape on an individual basis, addressing persons individual needs.

EDUCA organized and was part of many programs and events for the Latino community in Evansville and Owensboro. For example, EDUCA:

  • Prepared students for the U.S. citizenship exam;
  • Worked one-on-one with Latino students to teach about the American cultural mainstream and way of life;
  • Coordinated cultural events that showcased Latino culture (a tango show at Riverside Center in Owensboro, Kentucky; Vicente Fox’s speech at the Victory Theatre in Evansville, Indiana; Hispanic Heritage Month; Día de los Muertos; and 5 de Mayo);
  • Assisted persons to obtain library cards;
  • Assisted with USI reading program “Big Read”;
  • Assisted the Mexican consulate with registration sessions and interpreting in Evansville;
  • Provided language and cultural opportunities to local schools;
  • Provided early child developmental programming to students at several schools, centers, and organizations (Culver Family Learning Center, Stockwell Elementary School, Caze Elementary School, Lodge Community School,  and Cape Headstart);
  • Provided computer instruction to Latino adults and families at Evansville Public Central Library;
  • Provided Spanish classes for heritage speakers; and
  • Provided internships, practicum, and service learning opportunities to local students from the Spanish and Intensive English Programs at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville and Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro; and
  • Provided K-12 tutoring, homework assistance, and craft making sessions for children while their parents were attending EDUCA classes and programs.

Soccer program

EDUCA worked in partnership with Tudela Soccer Academy for over two years. Many Latino children participated in weekly practices, soccer clinics, games, and tournaments.

Swimming Program 

EDUCA provided swimming classes for children in partnership with YMCA in Evansville. The children participated in the summer program for about three years. They learned the basics of swimming and were taken to different swimming pool locations in the city of Evansville.

Chess Club

EDUCA provided a chess club program in partnership with the Scholastic Chess Club of Evansville. The program took place for about two years at the YMCA. The Latino children learned chess basics, the science behind the game, and the sport of the game.

“Plaza comunitaria” is a program that EDUCA started in 2010 in partnership with the Mexican consulate in Indianapolis. It operated for about three years, and during its existence EDUCA offered several teaching and tutoring programs to help coordinate the Instituto Nacional para la Educación de los Adultos (INEA) and programs for the Mexican National Institute for Adult Education for the Latino population in Evansville. Some of these programs were taught and coordinated by EDUCA board members and as well as community members. They were very successful and transformative in nature. EDUCA achieved success by graduating three GED students and helping three students obtain their elementary studies certificates.

After EDUCA’s Plaza Comunitaria started working with the Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis, many of EDUCA’s programs that had started in 2008 continued operating and new programs started, thus widening the range of opportunities for the Latino community in Evansville and Owensboro. There were a great deal of interesting, diverse, and exciting programs: the Mexican government primary and secondary instruction for Latino  immigrants,· English as a Second Language (ESL) in Evansville and Owensboro,· Child Care, K-12 mentoring, tutoring, and craft-making program for Latino students, computer literacy, cultural awareness and developmental activities, citizenship exam preparation, General Education Development (GED) or high school diploma in Spanish and English, literacy education for adults in Spanish, Spanish for heritage speakers and English speakers in the area, community health clinics and services, soccer program, tax consulting services, chess club, swimming program for children, guitar and painting workshops, and EDUCA Latino Art Connection (EDULARTES).

EDUCA and CENTRO LATINO led the Bilingual Latina Women’s Creative Voices program, Crónicas, sponsored by a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women in 2017This program enabled vulnerable Latina women immigrants to tell their stories as immigrants who have journeyed from their country to the United States in order to better their lives. There is a video from Crónicas for Latina women, and part of this project was presented on the WNIN radio program, from which it got an award as one of best stories about Latina women in the area.

Through the use of seminars, forums, and discussions, the women learned to write effectively about their experiences and feelings about their struggles and the hardships that come with immigrating to a new land.