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A Part of My Community

by Rayanne Lara

(Originally appeared in Immigration, March 2014)

I moved to Kansas City from from San Bernadino, California, because I wanted a safer community for my children. I wanted them to be able to play outside and not to worry about any problems. We have been here for two years and we have become part of the community.

To get to know people and to put down roots here, we participate in all types of activities. For instance, we go to church gatherings, fiestas at the park, and family picnics. We get together with neighbors to take the kids trick-or-treating. We do barbecues together two times a month when the weather allows it. Whenever there is an activity at my daughter’s school, I am there to support her—even if it is cold and rainy.

My daughter’s school has lots of activities for families, like the Silver City Day Parade, Grandparents Day, Thanksgiving at the school, and a coin drive for United Way. They also do a food drive to collect food for the needy, which we help out with. The family center at my daughter’s school offers a Rosetta Stone program that anyone can come in and use on the computer if they want to learn a different language. It makes me feel a part of my community when I participate in my children’s school.

There are many immigrants in my community. My daughter has friends who are from China and Mexico. Because our community has so many activities, we all have a way to get to know each other.

Recently, my family and I marched in the Silver City Day Parade with my daughter’s school, showing our school spirit. After the parade was over, everyone went to the park for the announcements of the four winners for best floats. At the park, we could all visit each other and stop and check out what the vendors were selling.

The community is very important to me because it brings my children and me a lot closer than we already are. I love to see the smiles on my children’s faces when we participate in the community activities. We have a good community.

Rayanne Lara is a student in the adult education program at Kansas City Kansas Community College. She is a single mother of three children and is going back to school to get her GED to better her life and her children’s lives. Getting her article published in The Change Agent shows her to never give up on anything and to keep moving forward.

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