Enrichment opportunities parallel academics to reduce the opportunity gap for students in communities like ours. With your year-end gift toward our $75,000 goal, Unidos will provide ongoing and varied enrichment opportunities for students in our neighborhood who would otherwise be stuck behind a financial barrier, unable to benefit from these important childhood experiences.

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Don't we all want smarter, happier and better connected kids in our local communities?

In the upcoming year, it will cost Unidos $75,000* to provide a steady rotation of experiences that enrich the lives of our students. Donate today to be part of enriching the lives of kids in our local community.

Enrichment Opportunities make kids smarter, happier and better connected.

This year-end, Unidos South OC invites you to enrich the lives of our students by increasing their access to enrichment opportunities.

“It is well documented that economic privilege is linked to better academic outcomes,” said Catarina Vales, a postdoctoral psychology researcher. “Our research suggests that one possible reason may be access to enrichment opportunities.”

Enrichment opportunities like art, music, field trips and summer school used to be included in school programs but over the generations have been gradually moved to the private sector. Now they remain behind a paywall, and our low-income neighbors are left out. 79% of Unidos parents say that their students need more enrichment opportunities, but private programs are cost-prohibitive. With a median household income of $68K/year and median rent of $2800, parents have very little to work with to provide their kids valuable experiences.

Enrichment Opportunities make kids smarter.

As kids, we were praised for being “smart.” Now we know that being “smart” is really more about Brain Plasticity. Kids’ capacities and academic outcomes are dependent –not on innate abilities– but on all the environmental factors surrounding them.

One big factor is Enrichment Opportunities.

Unfortunately the cost of enrichment opportunities plays a key role in the poverty cycle, as kids from low-income families have less access to the experiences that shape their brain plasticity, relational fabric and social-emotional wellbeing.

Stagnant environments are one reason why economic disparity is linked to academic outcomes, because new experiences that are too-often out of reach are part of what literally grows the brain’s capacities. So when a child goes horseback riding or learns a dance move, they grow their capacity to learn, which then impacts what happens in the classroom.

A steady rotation of new experiences is key to promoting brain plasticity. 

“Enriched environments (saturated with novelty, focused attention, and challenge) are critical for promoting neuroplasticity, and can provoke growth and positive adaptation.” (source)

And it’s working! With the programming Unidos has already been able to offer, we are already seeing kids get “smarter.” One parent of an Unidos student said, “He has learned to see life differently.” And 96% of Unidos parents said that their student is more motivated to learn since participating in Unidos programming.

Enrichment Opportunities make kids happier.

The last 20 months have been a burden for so many people. On a broad scale, research shows that the social, psychological and emotional toll of the pandemic has been felt even more severely in low-income communities of color like ours (2021).

One way to address this crisis is through Enrichment Opportunities.

Unfortunately the cost of enrichment opportunities plays a key role in the poverty cycle, as kids from low-income families have less access to the experiences that shape their brain plasticity, relational fabric and social-emotional wellbeing.

In Enrichment Opportunities, students develop personal interests, challenge themselves and develop confidence. They explore creativity without academic pressures, which improves self-esteem.

“My kids are different now, with dreams of success! And I believe it’s you who is motivating them.” (Unidos parent)

In a recent survey, Unidos parents report that our enrichment opportunities have had a positive impact on their child’s self-esteem, behavior at home, spiritual life, and emotional health.

Enrichment Opportunities make kids better connected.

Unidos believes that relationship is the foundation of all ministry, following the example of Jesus. And we know that positive youth relationships must be cultivated intentionally.

One way we are intentional about relationships is through Enrichment Opportunities that are “Relationship-Rich Spaces.” That means they are primed for connection between peers and between students with caring adults.

Enrichment Opportunities are supportive environments that are perfect for peer-to-peer relationships and adult-to-student relationships. In day camps, field trips, holiday parties, art class or STEM class, kids build relationships they wouldn’t otherwise have. These relationships provide the context for Unidos’ holistic care and concern for students.

“At first, my son didn’t want to go. But now he gets home from school just waiting for the moment he can go to Casa Unidos and be with his friends.”

In a recent survey, 90% of Unidos parents say that Unidos programs have improved their student’s relationships. 

“My sister has a safe place to hang out with youth her age. She’s behaving better at home and is less timid than before.”

It's not just about filling time.

Enrichment opportunities are research-proven to improve academic outcomes, emotional wellbeing, and intrapersonal relationships.

Let’s not let the cost of private programs impede our students from accessing these important life experiences. As a demonstration of God’s love and concern, together we can increase access to these opportunities for Unidos students.

With your gift toward our $75,000 goal, Unidos can provide ongoing and varied enrichment opportunities for students in the neighborhood who otherwise would be stuck behind the financial barrier, unable to benefit from these important childhood experiences.

With your help, Unidos can provide ongoing and varied enrichment opportunities for students in the neighborhood who otherwise would be stuck behind the financial barrier, unable to benefit from these important childhood experiences.

Unidos South OC is a non-profit organization (Tax ID: 82-3510252)

strengthening under-resourced neighborhoods in San Juan Capistrano.

www.UnidosSouthOC.com

PO Box 1874, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

949-326-0320 info@unidossouthoc.com

@unidossouthoc – about Unidos programs

@sjcunidos – Spanish-language message board


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