General Motors Foundation and LULAC National Educational Service Centers Bring Science Corps Program to Arlington Independent School District

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The public is invited to participate in a Reception and Program Orientation on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Carter J.H. library located at 701 Tharp St., Arlington, TX 76010.

Carter Junior High School in the Arlington Independent School District will be the site of the first Science Corps program in the Dallas metro area supported by General Motors Foundation and LULAC National Education Services Centers (LNESC). The public is invited to participate in a Reception and Program Orientation on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Carter J.H. library located at 701 Tharp St., Arlington, TX 76010.

Under the GM Foundation/LNESC partnership that has existed for almost 29 years, the middle school program will encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields by exposing them to real-world STEM applications and problems. The program uses an engaging, inquiry-based curriculum and encourages them to pursue courses that lead to STEM college degrees.

“At the GM Foundation, we are convinced that investing in the next generation of leaders and innovators is important to the future of our nation,” said Grace Lieblein, GM vice president Global Quality and GM Foundation board member. “Cultivating a strong and diverse workforce in STEM fields is essential to the sustainability of the automotive industry and long-term economic health of the country.”

Students are selected for Science Corps if they have an interest in STEM and are seeking to improve their grades in these subjects, particularly math and science. The program also aims to foster leadership among the students while enhancing group collaboration skills.

During the 30-week after school program, students meet twice a week with two certified science and/or math teachers. The Science Corps program emphasizes making program activities fun and interesting, while effectively increasing mastery of STEM subjects by combining hands-on, inquiry-based learning; field excursions; exposing students to STEM professionals; and developing group cohesion and a scholastic identity around science.

The program kick-off event will take place at the Carter Junior High School Library on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m., where teachers will highlight the academic accomplishments of student participants.

“Our goal is to inform more parents and students about the STEM program and the opportunities it has to teach students about the skills necessary to land a job in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” said Reny E. Lizardo, principal at Carter Junior High. “Mrs. Amy Green and Mrs. Layde Welpman will be showcasing the amazing work the students in the program have already accomplished in an effort to grow the program and bring more of our students this opportunity."

The program is built around two key components: academic enrichment and career exploration through community engagement.

LNESC works with local community members to present career awareness workshops and mentoring and engages parents to become involved in their child’s participation.

“So often, minority and female students are assumed to not be interested in math and science courses and do not realize how accessible STEM careers are, especially if they dedicate themselves to the development of their own futures,” said Richard Roybal, Executive Director of LNESC. “Once they have direct contact with minorities and women who are engineers, hi-tech gurus, and health care professionals, striving for those careers becomes more realistic to them.”

Students’ achievements in STEM are further highlighted through GM’s STEM ALL-STAR program, including recognition on their school wall and STEM award announcement at a major school event and access to GM’s team of engineers and field trips to GM facilities. Besides Carter Junior High, Sam Houston High School in Arlington also has a GM STEM ALL-STAR status.

LNESC, General Motors and the GM Foundation have had a long-standing partnership dating back to 1986, supporting a wide range of educational initiatives including scholarship opportunities, Young Readers Literacy Program and Science Corps Program to help support under-served communities across the country.

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LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) was established in 1973 by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to provide educational programming to high-need students throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Throughout 14 education and technology centers, LNESC has served over 500,000 students, sent 150,000 students on to college, and awarded nearly $20 million in scholarships. LNESC’s results are made possible by a network of dedicated field staff, top-notch teachers, over 90 school partners, and the support of LULAC - the nation’s largest membership based Latino organization. LNESC works to change lives and build Latino communities, one student at a time. More information about LNESC and its programs can be found at http://www.LNESC.org.

About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit http://www.gm.com/gmfoundation.

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Jossie Flor Sapunar
LULAC
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