More than 150 students, families and friends of Worcester State College’s Latino Education Institute attended a celebration to dedicate their new location at 537 Chandler Street October 29.
“Our future success as a college and as a community depends on the individual success of every child in our school system,” said WSC President Janelle Ashley in her welcoming remarks. “The LEI works everyday with children and their families to strengthen English skills, offer homework help and most importantly: foster a real love of learning. At Worcester State College, we believe that love of learning is a life-long endeavor.”
WSC Board of Trustees Chair George Tetler read to the crowd from one of the paper chain links made by children served at the center to use at the “ribbon cutting.”
“As you can see it was not a typical ‘ribbon cutting,’ but a paper chain made by children served by LEI,” he said. “They wrote some of their thoughts on the links in the chain. I’d like to read one to you: ‘ISLA is fun because we get to do our homework and make new friends.’” Tetler explained that ISLA is an after school academic enrichment program for third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders.
LEI Executive Director Mary Jo Marion and a group of children presented a thank-you gift to WSC Foundation Vice Chair Gregg Rosen. Rosen’s leadership in the purchase of the home made the new location possible for LEI.
Calling the event “historic,” Rosen said: “With the collaboration of the Foundation board, Board of Trustees and support of our executive team, we have opened the doors to unlimited possibilities for the future growth of our campus.”
He also praised LEI for their work. “This dynamic group has an honorable mission statement—to improve academic achievement and the well-being of Latino students from kindergarten through college. I am pleased to have a project so close to my heart associated with such an honorable organization,” he said.
State Senator Harriette Chandler and Gladys Rodriquez-Parker, director of intergovernmental relations and community affairs for Congressman James McGovern and a member of the LEI Board of Directors, who have been leaders and advocates with LEI since its founding, were also on hand to congratulate LEI and WSC on the new office building.
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