A network for the Latino Community in Charlottesville, Virginia

CJ Education Work Group

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The CJ Education Workgroup serves as a platform for educators and school district personnel, university partners, and community-based service providers who are engaged in improving the educational experiences and outcomes of education across the life-span (preschool, K-12, university, and beyond) for Latino students and their families.

The Workgroup facilitates communication across organizations regarding in-school, out-of-school, and home-based learning opportunities for children, coordinates with community service providers to support parent involvement programs, and engages in outreach to local pre-service and in-service teachers.


The Workgroup has engaged in a range of activities since its inception nine years ago in relation to early childhood education (its original focus) and educational issues more generally. They organized and facilitated CJ workshops and events on:

  • The effects of deportation on children
  • Child reunification
  • Processes and benefits of dual language development
  • Literacy development for Spanish-speaking children in preschool
  • Parenting programs for immigrant families
  • How to refer preschool Latino children for special education services

The Workgroup has sponsored parenting workshops at several locations, including collaborating with the Church of the Incarnation in Charlottesville to assess Latino families’ needs, offer workshops on child development and discipline, and provide resources at their health fair. Workgroup members also sponsored development of a video offering parents advice on reading with young children.


  • Laura Brown, Migrant Education/Families In Crisis Specialist and English as a Second Language Family Engagement Liaison, Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Mayra Cardenas: Program Coordinator, Creciendo Juntos
  • Elaine Cecelski: Family Engagement Liaison, Albemarle County Public Schools ESOL
  • Amanda Kibler: Assistant Professor of English Education, University of Virginia
  • David Lerman: Student Success Advisor, Piedmont Valley Community College
  • Natalia Palacios: Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
  • Ilene Railton: Community Member and former Bright Stars Family Coordinator, Greer Elementary
  • Kim Rambow: Bright Stars Family Coordinator, Cale Elementary
  • Gloria Rockhold: Community Engagement Manager, Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Maria Williams: ESOL Instructional Assistant, Agnor Hurt Elementary


If you are interested in learning more or joining the Workgroup, please contact the CJ Program Coordinator at coordinator@cj-network.org.