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MAY 3, 2004

Gallegos Welcoming Families into School

Fletcher Elementary School parent coordinator Tracy Gallegos goes out of his way to help students and their families feel at home.

Most of Fletcher’s students come from families who are new to the U.S. Gallegos, who is bilingual, has gone out-of-his way to help families feel comfortable.

"For him it's more than a job," said Principal Laura Brinkman. "It's obvious he has a real concern for these families. He looks out for them."

Because of his hard work and passion, the North Area Neighborhood Organization honored Gallegos with the Original Aurora Renewal's "Neighborhood Action Team 2004 Unsung Hero Award."

He has effectively bridged the gap between the school and community. Gallegos coordinates monthly “Coffee with Parents” meetings, inviting a variety of community agencies to present topics to 40 to 100 parent attendees.

Gallegos' goal is to involve parents in their students' learning. "With assessments, students who are not fluent in English are held to the same standards as students who have been speaking English all their lives," he said. "It's only with the support of parents that we can really help these students."

Most parents want to be involved, they just may not know how, or they're intimidated, he said. "A common misconception is that these Latino immigrants don't want to learn English or be a part of our society," Gallegos said. "That's not true. They just need someone to help them learn the ropes. I'm proud to be that person."

Communication Services

Georgia Durán, Director
303-344-8060, ext. 28015
FAX: 303-326-1939
e-mail: georgiad@admin.aps.k12.co.us

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