U4H Call To All Hispanic Churches

MNPS y FSSD han crecido enormemente en su población estudiantil hispana. Hacemos un llamado a todas las iglesias hispanas para que se unan a nosotros en el apoyo a una escuela. Su iglesia puede ayudar simplemente escribiendo notas de aliento para los maestros o ofreciéndose como voluntario en un evento escolar. Cualquier persona de su iglesia puede participar. Christ Church Latina y Marian Campos, de U4H, fueron invitadas a la radio TN Extrema para animar a las iglesias hispanas a asociarse con una escuela. Puede leer la traducción al inglés a continuación o ver la versión en español del programa de radio haciendo clic en el enlace de Facebook o Youtube proporcionado. Si tiene alguna pregunta, desea más información o necesita a alguien que hable español, llame a Marian Campos al 615-852-5021 

MNPS and the FSSD have grown tremendously in its Hispanic student population. We are calling all Hispanic Churches to join us in supporting a school. Your church can help by simply writing notes of encouragement for teachers or volunteering at a school event. Anyone in your church can participate. Christ Church Latina and U4H Marian Campos were guests on TN Extrema radio to encourage Hispanic churches to partner with a school. You can read the English translation below or watch the Spanish version of the radio show by clicking on either the Facebook or Youtube link provided. If you have a question, want more information, or need someone who speaks Spanish, please call Marian Campos at 615-852-5021 


Cápsulas Educativas con Rubén de Peña 01/18/2024 (youtube.com)

Radio Extrema with Alicia Monroy, Christ Church Latina Coordinator, Pastor Anibal Morales from Christ Church Latina, Ruben De Pena, MNPS Equity and Diversity Coordinator, and Marian Campos, United4Hope Program Manager. 

 Marian and Ruben: Began by Marian explaining what U4Hope does and introduced Christ Church Latina. 

 Ruben: Pastor Morales, and Alicia, explain to us what was your motivation for collaborating with our district through United4Hope? My understanding is that your collaboration has been with Oliver Middle, is that correct?  

Alicia: Correct  

Pastor Morales: Thank you, Ruben. It is an honor to be part of this collaboration. As a church we can collaborate with MNPS in terms of emotional and physical support. Supporting teachers, that are overwhelmed with several things. It is interesting in my case as pastor because when I was informed about the possibility of this partnership, immediately with Alicia who is the Coordinator of English and Spanish ministries, we said “yes, we are going to support [a school]”. I have always considered that in every community there exist two important institutions, the schools and the churches. The school is important because it is where our children and young adults are educated, in all matters pertaining to the secular area. We also have the institution of the church where we can give emotional and spiritual support to our community that needs it. I know that us as a Hispanic ministry, where we find ourselves, can unite to this great vision, this great project, and be part of this extraordinary work that we are trying to carry forward. Alicia may have some more to add.  

Alicia: Marian and Ruben, thank you for having the honor to invite me into this amazing opportunity where we can help our Hispanic community and invite other churches to unite to this project. This project [United4Hope], was really something that was at the center of our hearts, we had the longing. We really wanted to have a relationship [with a school] that was stable and that would help every single person, which includes the teachers, the children, and families. There is a huge need in the Hispanic community, and we are here to support each other. If we support each other in this way, we can make a lot of changes and see a positive difference. We can be those bridges that are necessary for everyone to move forward.  

Ruben: Thank you so much for your important comment, Marian, Alicia, and Pastor Morales. Because truly the collaboration between the community of churches and the schools and community has been vital and we’ve actually seen extraordinary results. MNPS through this strategic collaboration with United4Hope and with churches and with other entities, we have seen over the years have impressive results especially for our Hispanic students whose primary language is not English. They [Hispanic students] have scored the same or higher to native English-speaking students. For two years in a row, MNPS has scored a category 5 which is the highest category a district can receive from the state. MNPS has not done this alone, it is a product of a collaboration with the entire community and is why we are so grateful for Extrema TN to give us a channel to bring on guest that can communicate that vision and incentivize our Hispanic community in general to be part of this work. Generally, the trajectory or tradition of the Hispanic community volunteering and collaborating has been low, but things are changing! Part of the [Hispanic] culture is that we are not likely to take the initiative to collaborate. What you all are talking about, that motivation to work at Oliver Middle and to those other pastors that are serving other schools is highly commendable. If you have just tuned in for the first time, I am Ruben De Pena, we have special guest Marian Campos, Alicia Monroy and Anibal Morales.  

(Ruben then goes to announce some district wide information not relating to U4H)  

Ruben: Reintroduced us. Marian, what can you say about this collaboration, what is the vision in uniting leaders [pastors] to join this effort? If you could give an elevator speech for 2 minutes to the Hispanic community. This is also open for Pastor Morales and Alicia to share.  

Marian: I will be short because I want to give as much time for Pastor Morales and Alicia to share as well. I would like to share that right now we have around 110 churches supporting 70 schools but only one of those is a Hispanic Church, Christ Church Latina. We are so blessed to have them, and we want to grow this number. Ruben De Pena can confirm what I am going to say since he has worked for MNPS for many years. The number of Hispanic students in MNPS has grown tremendously. Pastor Morales is supporting teachers which they will go into more. There is a huge need to support teachers right now. You may ask “When do I meet with a school to start a partnership” or “What does this process entail”. This is why our organization exists so that we answer these questions for you. We want to make the connection between your church and a school as easy as possible for you. I am going to share my phone number. If you would like to contact me so I can help connect you with a school. MNPS has several schools that do not have a church partner. So, if you would like to learn more and want me to connect you my number is 615-352-1805 I would like for Pastor Morales and Alicia Monroy to talk about how they have helped Oliver Middle and why they think other churches should help as well.  

Pastor Morales: It has been a blessing to support the school and to know we are the first Hispanic church supporting a school through United4Hope. It is a huge blessing but at the same time a goal of mine as pastor to incentivize and motivate other pastors about our Nashville community so that they may open their hearts and vision towards this important topic in supporting MNPS. I can say that probably 98% of pastors have a child studying in an MNPS public school. For this reason, if we are receiving that benefit of our children being educated by MNPS, why are we not as pastors and leaders of our Hispanic community, knowing there is a huge increase of the Hispanic student population, why not give grace for what we are receiving by grace? It is not a big effort what we are doing, it is simply to give your hand and say, “we are here as a Hispanic church in the community, how can we help, how can we serve?” Our experience with Oliver Middle has been extraordinary. We have met with the principal, assistant principal, and other staff leadership members. Alicia can share more about how we have collaborated and how it has been such a wonderful partnership. I know we can do a lot more to not only support Oliver Middle but other schools that could use our help.  

Alicia: Like Pastor Morales, shared, it has been a truly wonderful experience to have a partnership between our church and Oliver Middle School. Christ Church Latina does not have an agenda or is trying to convert any student or teacher. Simply, we see the need that exists in our community. Every school has its own heart, goals, and needs. Each family and child that is touched by a school needs a human being that can tell them “I am here, you are not alone”. This is what we really need in the Hispanic community. Teachers work so hard and sometimes need someone to cheer them on just like they cheer on their students. To tell them “You can do this!” Sometimes they may want their birthdays celebrated or to get goodies. It does not have to be something expensive, no, it’s about giving them something that comes from the heart and that you all can even do at home. It’s simply about being a presence and saying, “we are here, we see and recognize your hard work, thank you for keeping our kids safe, thank you for always being there”. As a mother who works in ministry, I know I cannot always be with my child so when my child is at school, I know those teachers become a parent like figure for my child. They are there to help them. The school has many activities that need volunteers, especially for those students that don’t have parents or family members. The school needs translators. People who can help these students and connect them despite race, religions or ethnicity. At school, you are simply a human who needs help. Schools are there to support families. Also, parents at the school will tell us “Thank you for what you are doing for this community”. Hopefully we will make small changes, and we will see the results in the future. If our Hispanic community, churches and school unite, it will be spectacular movement that we can say “it wasn’t started by one person but by a collective of people”. We could start a movement that changes generations and our future and where we want to go.  

Ruben: Asked Marian to repeat her number and closed us all off. 

 Radio show ended.