Ten Questions with a Community Lodgings Mom
Maria Romero’s daughter Jennesy Perdomo-Romero is in third grade and has been enrolled in Community Lodgings’ youth education program, which offers after school homework support and summer program, for three years. Maria shared how the Community Lodgings staff has helped Jennesy, and Maria’s entire family.
How did you first hear about Community Lodgings?
My husband, Cesar Gonzalez, worked there about 15 years ago, and part of his job was working with their after school program for middle school students. That’s how I knew about the Community Lodgings program.
How has their youth education program helped Jennesy?
It has helped Jennesy a lot. She has a bilateral hearing loss that was discovered when she was in second grade, so she has a hearing loss in both ears and has speech delay. Jennesy has had a developed IEP (individualized education program) since she was three years old. I meet with the school specialists two times each year to discuss Jennesy’s progress, and either Miss Melanie or Mrs. Gwen from Community Lodgings goes with me so they can learn how they can best help Jennesy while she is in their after school program.
Have Jennesy’s grades improved since she enrolled in Community Lodgings’ youth education program?
I have seen my daughter improve in school throughout the years. Between kindergarten and first grade the school staff wanted to keep her back a grade. We didn’t know of her hearing loss until Jennesy was in second grade, and have seen her improvement throughout the school years.
What do you like the best about Community Lodgings’ after school program?
They give kids the opportunity for a place to go after school for help with their school work, and that gives them a chance for a better future.
How has the Community Lodgings youth education program helped Jennesy?
She is part of the after school and the summer program, and I see her getting involved in more things. She likes to help other people and she wants to make sure everyone is on the same page. I see her helping other kids who are younger than her. The Community Lodgings staff tells me how helpful Jennesy is.
What is important to you about Community Lodgings’ work?
They are able to help Jennesy with her homework since I get home late from work. I am happy with Jenney’s grades and the quality of her homework. Her grades are good at school. I am happy with Jenney’s progress and improvement since she started being part of Community Lodgings.
What has your involvement with Community Lodgings done for you?
I have an extra resource of help for Jennesy’s disability through their after school program. When I first learned about her hearing loss, I had some stress and anxiety about how the other kids would react because Jennesy will be wearing hearing aids. The staff made sure Jennesy was OK, and the kids treat her well. The staff made Jennesy feel welcome. For awhile Jennesy liked Community Lodgings more than school!
What is your favorite Community Lodgings story/memory/experience?
Going to their Christmas party last year with my family and meeting the other staff members. My son Cesar is four and he liked when Santa Claus read “The Night before Christmas.” Jennesy loved her Christmas presents from Community Lodgings. She likes to draw and color, and she got an art set with construction paper, crayons, markers, and coloring books. She was extremely happy.
Jennesy also liked celebrating her birthday at their summer camp with the other kids. We brought cupcakes and juices for the kids and they sang to her.
Who is your favorite Community Lodgings person and why?
Mrs. Gwen (Spitzhoff). I have known her for two years and she has been a great person to my family. She has helped Jennesy in any way that she can and she has also helped all of us.
Why would you recommend Community Lodgings’ youth education program to your friends?
I would recommend the Community Lodgings program because they have a great staff and because of extra help they offer for after school.