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Scecina's madrinas and padrinos reach out to Latino families


 Some of Scecina "madrinas" created this ofrenda (display) for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday that honors deceased loved ones. In Mexico, the celebration is held from October 31 to November 2, coinciding with the Catholic feast days of All Saints and All Souls.

A group of parents are at work at Scecina helping to recruit and retain Hispanic families. These “madrinas” and “padrinos” are Spanish-speaking parents of current students who will reach out to similar families. 

“Madrinas” is Spanish for “godmothers.” Scecina’s group also includes some men who are “padrinos,” or “godfathers.” 

The program is based on the “Madrinas Model” from the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education. It’s an outreach program designed to increase Latino enrollment by “creating and strengthening the connection between Latino families and the school, while fostering a culture of support for children’s academic education and spiritual formation.” 

The Madrinas Model employs a “grassroots marketing approach in which madrinas connect Latino families to a strong neighborhood Catholic school.” 

“At our first meeting in August, we just spoke about what the program wanted to tackle and introduce everyone to each other,” said Miriam Medina, Scecina’s director of Enrollment Management. “The madrinas and padrinos are still learning about our processes, the East Deanery, and the environment we recruit in.” 

Scecina has eight madrinas and three padrinos: Ana Curiel, Gris and Juan Gomez, Sonia Torres, Erica Patino, Jaime Sanchez, Yadira Rodriguez, Quenia Rodriguez, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Marla Rubalcava, and Josh Smith. The madrinas and padrinos, who meet monthly, have been spreading the good news about Scecina to the Latino community. 

With the help of Ms. Medina and Ivette Clinger, tuition assistant and Latino contact, some madrinas created the Day of the Dead display in the rotunda. They also helped in October at the 2018 Open House, where they had a table and where padrino Juan Sanchez, parent of sophomore Juan Sanchez, gave a testimonial to prospective families. (Click here to read his testimonial.) Madrinas and padrinos also have been making phone calls to eighth-graders who speak Spanish. 

“We have yet to make any more plans, but we want to explore the idea of celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as work with recruitment and enrollment for the upcoming school year,” said Ms. Medina.

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