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Veronica

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Kids go to summer camp; parents usually do not.
 
But they do go to RISE Parent Workshops, as part of a summer learning-loss prevention camp hosted by the Gainesville Housing Authority, Brenau University and other community supporters.
 
Getting the parents involved is an integral part of the RISE process. How it works: GHA children attend class Monday through Thursday and take field trips on Fridays. With the kids out, the parents attend class on Fridays to reinforce their kids’ summer weekly lessons.
 
“It’s a follow-up on what the kids have learned during the week and it helps keep them motivated and engaged,” said workshop teacher Veronica Portillo. Portillo serves as the Parent Involvement Coordinator at Fair Street Elementary School during the school year, where she has plenty of opportunities to see the effects of a strong parent/child team approach in education. Before working at Prior St., Portillo served in Piedmont Migrant Education through Gainesville City Schools for six years.
 
Originally from Juarez, Mexico, and raised in Wisconsin, today Portillo calls Gainesville home. She has been here 20 years, and says she loves serving in the area.
 
“I’ve always been a servant of the community; that’s where I’m happiest,” she said.
 
Portillo also spends time volunteering for the Food Pantry at Free Chapel Church, where she distributes food to needy families and puts into action her personal creed: “Nothing’s possible without God.”
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