It was the first day of Kids Club. Excitement was high as 42 young faces new and old arrived to begin the year. As they settled in amidst laugher and talking the doorbell rang. Who could it be? At the door was Irma, the mother of a 5th grader, with a special treat for everyone: her homemade arroz con leche (rice pudding). “I brought dessert on the first day of school because I wanted to help motivate the kids,” she remarked later. It was a sweet gesture showing her heart to positively affect the community.
One goal set forth by community leaders is to empower their neighbors to positively affect each other, their families and themselves. Small but important gestures like that of Irma show the heart of parents who want to impact their community in a positive way. Many have expressed their desires to grow deeper spiritually, professionally, and as parents and families.
“We would like to be better leaders for the community. We would each like to learn how to be good leaders,” said Nino. He was one of many community members who attended Casa Chirilagua’s recent leadership development class. Attendance is required for adults who want to be part of the Directive de Padres. This group holds monthly meetings to help lead the parents of Kids Club and Teens Club students.
During the leadership development training, community members spent six hours learning new skills and leadership concepts. These included promoting a culture of honor among the community, healthy conflict resolution, understanding leadership styles and the values that good leaders brings to the table.
During the training a passionate parent named Magda particularly stood out with her knowledge of what makes a great leader. She provided deep observations and commentaries as she processed the way team members engaged with one another during each of the team-building demonstrations. Her observations were so on point, that the instructor Rudolfo commented multiple times, “Magda, I think you and I are ready to switch places. You may come up and teach the rest of the class for me!”
It is rising leaders like Magda and others who will set the tone for the community and parent groups this school year. With their passion and training we are excited about the positive impact they will have in their community in the coming year. Liz, Casa’s Family Programs Director, sums it up best when she says, “We believe in the capabilities of every person in our community. We believe they can make a difference in their homes and communities. This course is a step in the right direction towards that ideal.”