At Council’s Semi-Annual Operations Meeting on Tuesday, Director of Field Services for Council’s Eastern Section Marilyn Lopez announced a Latino Outreach Initiative.
Marilyn is bilingual. Part of the reason Council hired her is with a view to her being instrumental in building a successful Latino outreach. That program is now under way.
North Star District has been named as one of the three (3) traditional districts to receive the focus of this effort. We were chosen because we already have a significant Latino population within our borders. A parallel effort will be pursued in the after-school units.
The outreach will begin with a specialized committee. The committee will consistent primarily of persons with existing connections to the Indianapolis Latino community. In addition, Council will work with local colleges and universities to staff interns with bilingual skills to serve as a support network. Some of these internship positions will be paid; others will be unpaid.
The goal of the program is to build three new units in each district that are majority Spanish-language families with a total of 100 new scouts. These units will market to the Latino families for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts as a family affair, and not just an activity for a boy.
Along with the new units, the initiative will seek to serve existing units with Spanish language support. These bilingual scouters will be an invaluable resource in the success of the initiative.
If you know family or friends who are bilingual or are currently studying Spanish, this is a great opportunity to build your language skills. One way to prepare for this effort is to buy the Spanish lanugage material. Then read the English and Spanish language material together. For example, read one chapter of the English Cub Scout Leader guide, then read the same chapter in Spanish. Compare the vocabulary and syntax. You will quickly learn the Scout-specific language in both languages.
This initiative is intended to have a major impact in the fall.
Please let Con, Marilyn, or me know about any Spanish outreach resources so that we can Be Prepared come fall.