DENVER - Talking to students about poetry at Swansea Elementary School in Denver is something 5th grade teacher Elizabeth Diaz likes to do.
She’s giving her students a chance to learn, even though their home life may be complex.
“Parents who work a lot or parents who may not be here,” explained Diaz.
For many of her students, English is a second language. Diaz want her students to get a quality education and to give back to their community.
“We want them to celebrate,” Diaz said. “We don’t want them to not appreciate where they come or their family comes from.”
That sense of giving back is one reason why she’s appreciative of funding the school received from community leaders.
Mile High United Way partnered up with the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative and Denver Public Schools Foundation to provide $120,000 in funding to two Denver Public Schools in low income areas in an effort to unite neighborhoods.
It’s an effort Mile High United Way President Christine Benero says her organization fully supports.
“This is a community that cares for itself and a perfect place to partner to make those dreams we all have for our children.” Benero said.
Denver Public School Foundation President Veronica Figoli says funding like this helps find resources for parents in these areas.
“When parents don’t have the same resources that other parents have, the work is just much harder,” Figoli said.
The grant received by Swansea Elementary will be used to retain the school psychologist—a position principal Gilberto Munoz feels is important to his students.
“They’re so young and they’re dealing with so much,: Munoz said. “They just don’t know how to deal with some of those things that are bubbling up sometimes.”
Lessons on giving back, and help from some community leaders to help students in their future careers.
“Education is the best investment we can be making especially in our youngest children,” Benero said.
It’s an investment that this community can benefit from.
“Denver is a thriving city and we cannot be that if our kids aren’t thriving as well,” Figoli said.
Garden Place Academy also received funding from the grant to help further its community engagement and student support.