Special to CTLatinoNews.com
On June 24, 2016 cofounders of Arte Inc. Daniel Diaz and David Greco, along with chaperones, Dr. Abie Benitez, Anthony Reid and Erin McElhone escorted a group of students from New Haven Public Schools on an eight day learning adventure to Puerto Rico. In eighth grade, these students graduated from Arte’s incredibly successful SLATE program (Socialization & Learning Adventures Through Education).
This intensive two year program teaches middle school kids valuable social and life skills as well as morals and values. The students, now entering their junior and senior years of high school, took part in this cultural, educational and personal growth experience. Students stayed at the University of Puerto Rico where they took part in daily classes on history, culture, geography, biodiversity and Afro / Caribbean influences by professors and lecturers. These lesson plans were coupled with daily excursions to Arecibo Observatory, Fajrado Lighthouse, Camuy Caves, El Yunque Rain Forest, Loquillo Beach, historic Old San Juan more.
In addition, they had the opportunity to sample local cuisine. Students had an extremely positive interaction with University High School students. This school is based at the University of Puerto Rico and 100% of their graduates go to college. This amazing learning adventure, exposed N.H.P.S. students to new ideas, environments, knowledge and memories they will keep for a lifetime. For a number of the students this was the first time on a plane and their first hotel stay. The chaperones and students had an amazing time in Puerto Rico. The hospitality shown to them at the University and throughout the island was incredible. Many students showed interest in attending college at U.P.R. and all vowed to return. This trip was done in collaboration with UPR, Campus Puerto Rico, INIM and the Foundation for Puerto Rico
The organizers of the trip received this thank you note, signed by all the kids.
“Dear Danny & David,
Thank you on behalf of all the kids in the SLATE program. This experience has taught us the culture & history of Puerto Rico. It’s also helped us learn so much about ourselves and each other. You both have been here for all of us since the sixth grade and for that we are forever grateful. You’ve given us an experience that we will take with us forever. Thank you again for everything! #1 Dad’s”