Bay Area LIFE: ALAS helps Latino children reach their fullest potential
Updated: Feb 16, 2022
Published: October 30, 2016
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- ALAS translates to "wings" in Spanish, and is the acronym for the Half Moon Bay-based cultural arts program Ayudando Latinos A Soñar, which translates to Helping Latinos to dream.
The program focuses on encouraging Latino children to thrive and succeed. The program originally started as an educational tutoring program, but has since expanded from those humble beginnings.
What started with community leaders donating time to tutor gradually expanded to a partnership with Notre Dame de Namur University and their teacher education program and they now offer tutoring sessions twice weekly.
In addition to the enriching tutoring program, ALAS provides both dance and music classes that help children to embrace and celebrate their heritage. Right now they are offering classes in Ballet Folklorico Tonantzin, a traditional Mexican style dance, where children learn about the culture and the dance routines and get to perform in the traditional garb.
They are also offering a program called Mariachi Media Luna. These are music classes, where children learn the art of Mariachi music in addition to how to play various instruments.
The ALAS community utilizes these inspiring courses to encourage cultural growth and expansion of academic achievement.
ALAS also provides support not just for the Children of the Half Moon Bay Community but for their families as well.
They offer their Misma Luna program as a resource to support the overall emotional health of their community through various social programs and volunteer outreach programs. This program helps to create access to resources and acts as sounding board for issues within the community. They help with legal issues, emotional issues, and physical issues such as lack of food and water.
The children get a chance to give back to their communities as well, by volunteering for ALAS' local food drives.