tv Tiempo ABC April 24, 2016 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
struggling schools in our area by creating partnerships between the school and other community resources, resources that all benefit local families. por ejemplo, the schools, along with neighborhood community organizations, train parents to serve as mentors. we'll tell you more about this great initiative a little later in our show. right now, though, we elect a new president this year, and immigration reform is one of the most controversial issues of the campaign season. in parts of our country and, believe it or not, in parts of our area, there are still pockets of anti-immigrant sentiment. this week, abc7 partners again with citizenship now!, a hotline campaign to guide people through the often complex citizenship process. dozens of hotline providers will be on hand all week to offer free information to thousands of callers. here to talk more about this annual event, attorney andres perches lemons and sofia carreno from the city university of new york. cuny is also a big part of the campaign. thank you both for being with
>> yes, thank you very much. >> what? two years ago? three years ago? >> about two years ago. >> yeah, that we had you here for this very same thing. in fact, you guys have been doing the immigration hotline now, i think, 14 years. how many years have you been a part of it? >> i've been a part of it since 2009, so about 7 years. >> have you seen it literally grow over the years? >> oh, yeah. definitely, yeah. it's getting bigger. >> in what ways? >> more volunteers, more -- it's just better organized. it keeps getting better and better. we take more calls every year, so... >> sofia, you've been with it even longer, right? i mean, 10 years? >> yes, more than 10 years, yes. >> are you still amazed at how, with each passing year, the popularity and the importance of it grows? >> definitely. i think that it just shows the constant flow of immigrants into the u.s. there's always a need for immigration services, and, you know, that's basically demonstrated with the number of calls that we get every year. >> what have you learned from doing this event year after year after year? >> well, i think that we have perfected, in a way, the way how
we realized that that's really a basic of providing the service, right, making sure that we have the right information for us to present to our callers. >> yes, and the callers come in all shapes and sizes, speaking languages -- how many languages will you be able to handle? >> well, last year we had 49 different languages based on the different volunteers. each one speaks a different language, so we have a list of what everyone speaks, and we're ready. >> and there are 400, right, volunteers? >> 400 volunteers throughout the week. >> my goodness. so, are you planning for next year's event, like, one day after it ends this year? [ both laugh ] i mean, is that how much planning goes into it? >> pretty much. >> yeah, pretty much. what we try to is that, every year, we start taking notes as we go just so that we can make improvements for the next year. so, yes, definitely it's an ongoing process. >> give me an example of some of the most common questions that you get. >> definitely citizenship is the
become a citizen?" or "where can i get help to become a citizen?" but we also get questions like, "how do i get a work permit?" or "how do i get a green card?" >> mm-hmm. >> stuff like that. you know, it's a good mix. but citizenship is the biggest one. >> citizenship is the biggest one, yes. and in answering that question, sofia, are you answering it there or are you pushing them off to another agency or some community-service organization that handles that process for them, or both? >> so, for citizenship, we get questions about how to find english or civics classes for people to prepare for the test. >> yeah. >> so we refer them to an agency that provides those classes for free or at low cost. and also, depending on their case, if it's a complicated situation, we also may tell them to go to a private attorney or to a not-for-profit organization. it depends on the case. >> this year's event happens to fall during a presidential election year.
in terms of your preparations and what you can expect in terms of the number of callers and the questions that might come? >> we've already seen a big influx of callers and people coming to our events, wanting to become citizens, a lot more than normal. >> what do they tell you when they call? do they mention presidential politics as part of the reason? >> some of them do. you know, some of them want to be able to vote in this coming election. and, i mean, there are tons of benefits of becoming a citizen, but i think that's the reason that more people are applying right now. >> yeah, there's a sense of instability, right, with the immigrants. i think that they want to somehow regularize their status, so they feel that there is an urgency to it now. although we think that it's always important to become a citizen because that empowers immigrants. >> you took the word out of my mouth. there's a sense of empowerment, right? many who perhaps haven't experienced that, that you literally have a say in who can become our next president -- is
to say to them, "this is a big reason why you should become a citizen"? >> yes, civic engagement. you know, it's huge. they should be able to vote and participate in our democracy. even, like, if they want to run for political office, you know, certain -- you have to be a citizen, like, to run for city council, for example. >> sit tight, because we're gonna put up the phone number. and for you at home, if you're watching, wondering, you know, "what's the number that i call?", the toll-free home number -- the toll phone number we will put up on the screen, so grab your pencil and paper so you can jot it down. that's coming up to call this week for the citizenship now! campaign. still ahead on "tiempo," how about this? we'll tell you about the new york city community schools initiative and how it helps students and parents, when we
>> welcome back to "tiempo." we're talking this morning about this week's citizenship now! hotline campaign. joining us this morning, attorney andres perches lemons and sofia carreno from the city university of new york. cuny and abc7 are both part of the campaign. we've been talking about the extra interest in the campaign
presidential election. let me ask you this -- is there still time to become a citizen and be able to vote in the general election in november? >> yeah, to be able to vote in november, you have to register by october, so there is still time, because, in new york, it's taking about five months, four months, sometimes three, so there's definitely time, but you should apply as soon as possible. >> the sooner, the better is the best advice. >> mm-hmm. >> we've been focusing, sofia, so much on citizenship and immigration, but the callers -- or the volunteers are prepared to answer other types of questions. are they ready for daca questions, dapa questions, what happens at the supreme court, things of that nature? >> yes, they are. we always try to be on top of all the immigration developments so they are ready to answer questions about daca. many people are waiting to see what's going to happen with dapa, the parents of the young children who were brought to the u.s. so they could call us and find
and also those who are interested in applying for a green card, perhaps in family, we will answer questions about that. those who are undocumented and they want to find out about other ways for them to adjust their status, they can also call us and we can, you know, give them some information. >> andres, i'm curious. 400 volunteers -- where do you find them? you know, where do you come up with these experts in all these different areas? >> we have a robust volunteer corps through our citizenship events that we hold twice a month. >> okay. >> so, over the years, we've just compiled this great group of volunteers, and they're always willing to come out and help us out and get free food. >> okay. so that contacts list is pretty long by now over the years. >> and they come from various organizations. they have many different backgrounds. >> sure. >> and they are all very willing to help. >> okay. and you sign them up for next year as soon as this year's over? [ laughs ] >> well, we don't let them go. they help us all year round.
sure that we put up on the screen the phone number for people to call and also the times that are available, so let's put it up right now. this is the citizenship now! hotline. it starts tomorrow, runs monday through friday. the hotline is open beginning at 10:00 in the morning, all the way until 8:00 p.m. at night. there's the phone number -- 212-278-2390. apuntalo. that is the phone number in english. if you get a call and you want to speak to someone in spanish or creole or french or whatever language you might speak, they can transfer you to the right person. so, and the phones start ringing as soon as 10:00 hits, does it not? >> yeah, 10:00 they start ringing, and we are ready to answer. >> 10:00 to 8:00 is a long day. i can see why you need 400 volunteers. >> right. we have shifts, you know, different shifts, so they come in and out and they take breaks and stuff. >> presidential pol-- do you have -- you know, each year when i go to cover it, i see that you usually have a special guest or two -- senator schumer, one year
might have been senator clinton at that time. >> yeah. >> are there any surprises that are expected tomorrow? >> well, yes. we are hoping that this week the mayor will join us, as well as cardinal dolan. >> cardinal dolan. yes. okay. >> yes, yes. we also expect senator schumer. he has stopped by every year pretty much. and senator gillibrand, as well. >> okay. >> yes. >> do you have any idea, andres, how many people have become citizens since the campaign began? do you keep track of that? >> i think we've helped over 130,000 people since we started yeah, so... >> wow. that's... >> a lot, yeah. >> and roughly -- 'cause you keep a running tab, if i remember correctly, yes? and is it a tab of phone calls, or is it a tab of people that you've helped, or both? >> phone calls. >> phone calls. >> phone calls, yes. so, last year, we had over 7,000, but we have not designed election years.
calls, so we have had years in which we have had 12,000 calls. >> sofia, callers can remain completely confidential, correct? >> yes, we don't ask for their names. we don't ask for any information that identifies them, so they can feel free to call about anything immigration related that they want to know about. >> so, if they call and say, "hi, sofia, it's -- i don't want to tell you my name, but here's my question," that's perfectly fine? >> okay. and lastly, are you literally -- i know we're in the new york metropolitan area, but have there been circumstances where you have received calls from ecuador, venezuela, colombia? >> i mean, we've gotten calls from like texas, florida, mississippi, alabama. as far as other countries, i don't think that's happened yet that i know of. >> no, it has. >> it has happened. you see that? we're still learning. >> it's very rare. once or twice. once. >> well, word is spreading. thank you guys very much. continued success with the campaign. it's always, always a good thing. coming up next on "tiempo," imagine a school that not only educates a child but also provides vision screening,
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with our exclusive one-hour arrival window. feels good to be back. come back today. you'll get free installation, tv equipment and epix included. and now get a $300 reward card. call today, and welcome back. >> the community schools model has already started to improve more than 100 struggling schools in our area by creating partnerships between the school and other community resources that benefit local families. how great is that? here to talk more about this
friend grace bonilla from the committee for hispanic children and families, and gloria alfinez, parent leader, middle school 328. welcome to you both. i mean, let's be clear -- this concept is still, in new york city, relatively new, correct? >> yes, it's about two years old. >> okay. >> yep. >> and roughly how many schools are involved in this approach? >> about 130 schools. >> okay. ranging in -- are we talking middle schools, high schools, elementary schools? >> all levels of the school system. >> and bottom-line the approach for me. you have the school system working with local organizations like yours. >> so, the great part about this partnership is that you have community-based organizations partnering up with schools to focus on three major aspects. >> mm-hmm. >> and they are rigorous enriching culturally competent academic curriculum. >> that's a good one. >> a safe and social emotional supportive environment for students. >> mm-hmm. >> and the one that we're very proud of is parent engagement.
>> yes, 'cause you need parents involved. >> you need parents. >> and here's a parent. you're involved. >> i am. >> tell me about your son involved in a community school? which one? >> so, my 13 -- well, he's about to be 13 -- >> congrats. teenager. uh-oh. [ laughter ] prepare yourself. >> [ sighs ] >> he's involved. and you are, therefore, involved, correct? >> i am. i'm constantly there at the school. i'm involved at the school on a daily basis. i'm there till maybe about 5:30. >> in what capacity, gloria? >> i'm the p.a. president. >> okay. but what are you doing at the school? >> i am volunteering and doing a number of different things for the principal, for the staff, and engaging the students, as well as the parents, having conversations and encouraging that they come into the school and visit the school, see the great ideas that are going on, and to get invested and involved. >> and what's the argument that you use to the parents to convince them to come to the school and get involved? >> i don't think i use an argument, but maybe a -- >> what's the sales pitch? >> [ laughs ] more so that one of them is,
for sure, that we're warm and welcoming and we ask that parents come in and get involved because no matter what language you speak, your talents and your skills are always welcome. >> okay. what is the difference in this approach as compared to the more traditional educational approach? what's happening in community schools that's not happening in many others? >> sure. i think the wonderful thing about this is that we're opening the doors. we are taking an "it takes a village" approach to the schools that are struggling to get them to the next level. >> opening the doors -- what does that mean? >> so, what that means is that we're not just engaging traditional partners like parents. >> yes. >> we're also engaging small businesses. we're letting them know, this is a school that's part of your community, and therefore you need to invest in it. >> okay. >> so we're letting teachers teach, while the community-based lead organization is taking care of the other needs that the students may have. >> okay. yes. specifically? >> so, for many of our students, there's food and security, they're in transitional housing. they may be facing challenges with other parts of the city
a community-based organization can be that bridge. so the teacher is allowed to teach, and the rest of us are there to support the success of the leadership of that school. >> more specifics -- and i mentioned some right at the top there -- are these things happening? dental screenings, medical visits? >> yes. >> vision care? i see you nodding your head. yes? that's at your school? those things are happening? >> therapy. >> laundry? yeah? >> laundry. >> okay. >> a number of different services. >> take it the next step. with the hopes that -- and maybe i'll take the step and you tell me if i'm going in the right direction -- that the students and the parents can focus on academics. >> absolutely. so, one of the things that we're engagement. we have a volunteer system at the high-school level so that students are also investing back in their community. what we have seen is that, as a result, there is better attendance and there's better attendance or there's more academic engagement, and we will see the long-term effects of >> mm-hmm. >> and it's the students encouraging the other students to make sure they're coming to school because of the support
>> so, attendance is -- increase in attendance is a short-term goal, and you're already seeing that starting to pay off. >> absolutely. >> are you seeing it at your school? >> i am. and also that we're celebrating it. we acknowledge it, but we also celebrate it. >> in what way? >> we have ice cream parties, we do pizza, we ask the parents to come in and be a part of it. we've had ice cream sundaes. we give them out medals. even for the reading that they do. they do reading logs, and in that, they get medals. they're being acknowledged. they take pictures, and we put it up, we post it, and we congratulate them. >> it's safe to say that in order to learn in school, you got to be in school, right? >> absolutely. >> and have you set any other short-term goals that you'd like to see in the next year, two, three, in terms of this approach and how it's paying off? >> absolutely. so, beyond attendance, then it's like what happens when we're in the school system? how are students' academic enrichment programs working out for them? where do we support teachers who may want to, in a middle-school system, bring in robotics, right? we may not be the experts in
at the lincoln spring collection event. your choice of the lincoln mkc or mkz for $289 a month, or get 0% apr for 60 months. >> welcome back to "tiempo." we have been discussing the new york city community school initiative with grace bonilla from the committee for hispanic children and families inc., gloria alfinez, parent leader at middle school 328.
we were discussing during the break that this initiative is a holistic approach. that sounds nice to me. what do you mean by holistic approach? >> it involves everyone in the school community, as well as the external community. that means that it's not just the principal and her deans. it involves the parent coordinator, the social worker, the student body that may have some kind of organization they want to feature, and it involves the parents that may not feel as comfortable coming to the school. it also involves the entire student, right? so, what are the student needs? not just academically, but socially and emotionally, so that they can be successful. >> you get the whole neighborhood in the school pretty much. >> you could. >> exactly. >> that's great. and tell me what they're doing at your school, because this just blows me away. >> okay, well, this summer, they will be shutting down so that they can build a medical clinic for our students. >> in the school? >> in the school. >> that is just fabulous. >> so now that our children, if they come in, they're sick, they're going to be attended to. not, you know, regular is just a nurse, but this actually has
think of. >> i'm trying to take it to the next level. yeah, so you cut your finger, you have a cold, you go see the nurse. but what extended beyond that? >> okay, so the nurse will call the parent and tell them to come in and go bring the child to the doctor where you actually have a medical doctor inside our school. >> wow. that's great. >> yeah. >> so you got to get the clinic, and then you get the doctor, staffed by a doctor, a nurse, technicians, all that, the whole kit and kaboodle? >> all of it in one room -- i'm sorry, one office. >> right. >> and then in there, they go right back -- if they're okay, they go back to their classes and they don't miss any class. >> that's fabulous. one of the fascinating and, i think, unique aspects about this approach is that it's customized, correct? >> it is. >> what you see at one school is not necessarily the same as what you might see at another. >> that's exactly right. i mean, the reason that community school works is because we're really feeding into what is the culture of that particular community. >> okay. >> culture both from is this an asian-american community versus a latino community? but also what is the culture of the working families that are in that community?
>> please do. >> one of the things that we've noticed in our particular school is that our students were yearning for restorative justice, so we decided to implement a restorative-justice program. gloria has given you another example. i am sure that came from a lot of -- looking at a lot of numbers, like why is there such large absenteeism? it could have been because of medical conditions. like, why don't we bring that into the school? so those are two examples where we really look at the data and what it signifies for that particular community and say, "let's respond to that community." >> your school is located where? >> bronx high school of business in the bronx, yep. >> and yours is located in? >> in the bronx. >> in the bronx. okay. whereas you might have something completely different in staten island or in brooklyn or in queens. >> that's exactly right, yes. >> based on the needs of that community. >> exactly. >> needs that are illustrated through the fact that we're all together and we're talking and this is what we need in this school? >> that's exactly right. >> i would imagine what it does socially is also fabulous, correct?
in the same place. >> and we're addressing issues that students have commonly together but are not talking about and that parents also have but are not discussing with each other, so we're breaking down a lot of barriers. >> i'm gonna speed this ahead. well, let me get this. you've seen this work in other cities. i know it's still relatively new here in new york, but in chicago and other places, this initiative has already worked wonders, has it not? >> correct. >> so, are you hoping to see the same kind of success academically as they've experienced in other places? >> that's right. and as a parent, our best -- we hope for the best. >> mm-hmm. >> and we want peace of mind. >> sure. >> and in order to do that, we don't want to take our children out of the building. we want to keep them in the building while they're getting their education. >> 30 seconds. we're gonna wrap up. i'm gonna push this forward, and tell me if i'm out of line. you get kids focusing on academics, they get better grades. they get better grades, they graduate. and if they graduate with good grades, maybe they get a scholarship, perhaps one that they wouldn't have gotten had they come up through a traditional educational background. am i stretching it too far? >> not at all.
invested in these kids, making sure that they're college-ready, and that's the goal. >> mm-hmm. yeah. it's gonna pay off later. the parents may not even know it, but it's gonna pay off down the road. continued success. good luck with the clinic. thank you very much for being here. before we go, a look at the "tiempo" community calendar for this week. next saturday in manhattan, the american diabetes association expo comes to the jacob javits convention center. the expo will offer free health screenings and resources for new yorkers living with diabetes, many of those new yorkers latinos. the expo begins at 10:00 a.m. it is free. head to the north wing of the jacob javits convention center located at 655 west 34th street. also, if you have an event that you would like for us to mention on our community calendar, visit us at abc7ny.com/tiempo and give us all the details. much^simas gracias. thank you for spending part of your sunday with us. if you missed any part of our show -- how great is this? --
on the web, on your tablet, or even on your smartphone. i'm joe torres. thank you for watching. we will see you next time on "tiempo." be well. >> "here and now," the program featuring the news and interests of the african-american community. here's your host, sandra bookman. >> coming up, racism on college campuses. the documentary "remixing colorblind," that takes a look at the issue.
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