Enroot in the News

A Letter To Our Community

Dear Enroot Community,

We write to share with you that Enroot’s Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to sell the building we own at 99 Bishop Allen Drive in Cambridge. After many months of consultation, discussion and deliberation, we determined this change was essential to enable Enroot to continue delivering on its mission, “To empower immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school time experiences.” We feel a moral imperative to address the growing need among immigrant youth and their families in our communities, particularly in our current political and economic climate.

Our building is now more than 100 years old, and the increasing costs of maintenance and operation have constrained our organization’s ability to focus on our primary mission. Our paramount responsibility is to ensure we can sustainably pursue our mission and to serve more students.

Enroot remains as committed as ever to advancing equity through its support of immigrant students in Cambridge and Somerville, and will continue to grow the number of students we serve in both communities. We’re proud that nearly all of our students complete high school and our alumni go on to complete college at nearly triple the rate of comparable students. Over the last 25 years, with broad community support, and in close partnership with the Cambridge Public Schools and City of Cambridge, we’ve expanded the number of students we serve from 20 to nearly 200 today. Our 10-year vision for the future is to serve 1200 students in the surrounding area. The sale of our building supports our ability to meet the expanding needs of the immigrant community.

As a small non-profit, we deeply value the work of our fellow nonprofits in the building, many of whom have shared this space for years. Their continued success is essential to our community. We recognize the challenge they will face to secure a space that meets their organizational needs, and carefully considered this during our decision-making.

As we initiate the process to explore this sale we will work diligently to ensure the transition minimizes disruption for our students and those who occupy space in the building, as well as the wider community. While many details lie ahead, we are actively engaged in ongoing communications with neighboring nonprofits and do not plan to initiate a sale before 2019.

We are confident that by re-focusing our energies, we will be better equipped to respond to the growing needs of the immigrant student population.

We welcome questions and concerns from the community. Please direct communication to Executive Director Ben Clark, bclark@enrooteducation.org.

With appreciation,

Enroot Board of Directors

The State of Latino Education in Somerville

On October 10th, students, staff, and community members participated in a town hall on the State of Latino Education in Somerville with Jeff Riley, the Massachusetts Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Somerville students asked critical questions about the state of education for immigrants and Latino students, ranging from the high cost of college for students without documentation in Massachusetts to creating a more inclusive curriculum showcasing diverse and representative writers and historical figures.

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Riley was asked by parents and teachers to address the disparity in MCAS scores for Latino, English Language Learners, and black students. He responded that while Massachusetts ranks number one in education in the United States for some students, it is not effectively serving all students and that Massachusetts has some of the largest achievement gaps. Riley described his work in Lawrence and his plans to address disparities at the state level through partnerships with communities and families. Somerville Superintendent Mary Skipper included Enroot as one of the partners she looked forward to working with in ensuring more English language learners were admitted to honors and advanced placement courses. The town hall structure provided an opportunity for Enroot students to ask questions and engage with the education system.

Thank you to Latinos for Education and Somerville Public Schools for putting the event together. We appreciate the leadership of Commissioner Jeff Riley and Superintendent Mary Skipper as they look to make education more equitable for all.

 Enroot staff and students pictured with Somerville Mayor Curtatone before the Town Hall.

Enroot staff and students pictured with Somerville Mayor Curtatone before the Town Hall.

The Immigrant Experience: Learning Through Art and Community Voice

Enroot is honored to participate in Cambridge Community Foundation's event. Learn more about the immigrant experience through poetry and stories of those living in our community today, featuring Enroot’s students. We hope you can join us on Monday, September 26th, 5:30 PM at Harvard Yard.

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"If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then, very soon, no one in that society is safe." — James Baldwin

We have seen the inhumane and unjust treatment of immigrant families and children in our country and our communities, but what is the effect on the human being? Learn more about the immigrant experience through poetry and stories of those living in our community today at this innovative Cambridge Community Foundation experience. Standing beside Teresita Fernández's Harvard public art project, Autumn (...Nothing Personal), we will learn about how this work was inspired by James Baldwin's 1964 essay, Nothing Personal, published at the height of the civil rights movement. Local poets, storytellers, students, and dancers will personalize and bring to life the themes of disconnection, injustice and divisiveness in America, as well as the hope that love, light and trust can bring. We hope you can join us for this unique experience.

Special thanks to the Harvard University Committee on the Arts for this community platform.

Enroot featured on Ellevation's Highest Aspirations Podcast

“How do we engage English Language Learners in community programs? What supports are effective in helping immigrant students thrive beyond the school walls? How might we partner with outside organizations to create mutually beneficial programs for communities and newcomers?”

Somerville Program Director Anna Leversee answers these questions and more on Ellevation’s Highest Aspirations Podcast. Click here to listen.

Somerville celebrates 30 years as a sanctuary city - The Boston Globe

Wade Chery, 15, rubbed his hands together for warmth as he stood with Wilson Sadowski, his 22-year-old mentor through the Enroot Education program.

Chery, who came to the area from Haiti in May, had attended Somerville High School and has since moved to Dorchester. He said his favorite aspect of the school was its Welcome Center.

“Everyone wants to help you,” said Chery. “If you don’t speak English, they give you a translator.”

Click here to read the article on the Boston Globe website.