An educational Spanish language video series created specifically for Latino immigrants



Experience Education

Experience Education holds a distinguished record for the development and dissemination of media, educational tools and service programs, with an emphasis on diversity and bilingual, Spanish/English resources. A Title III E.S.E.A. grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in 1966, gave ExEd the means to design its first ground-breaking products and services in Southwest Iowa school districts. The organization known as the Southwest Iowa Learning Resource Center, a media center that represented the first of its kind in both Iowa and the U.S., continued as an educational non-profit organization (501 c-3) after the federal funds. It since expanded to provide services throughout the U.S. and a dozen other countries. Experience Education still produces exceptional quality educational products, including bilingual video/DVDs that offer unique opportunities for families. ExEd continues to achieve this level of excellence through dedication to quality, innovation, and creative collaborations with field experts and other organizations.

One of Experience Education's special purpose organizations (Southwest Iowa Latino Resource Center) has joined with Iowa State University Extension, the American Friends Service Committee, Heritage Foundation, and the Iowa Department of Economic Development to produce ÉXITO EN EL NORTE: a ten video/DVD series for Latino immigrants. ExEd's President, William Horner, brings decades of experience designing and developing bilingual media tools that proactively respond to society's current needs. Under Horner's leadership as Producer of the series, Experience Education provided overall project management and coordination, and final oversight of video production. Through dynamic collaborations with its partners, ExEd brings a wealth of knowledge, creative and technical expertise that helps realize the films' goal of Success in the U.S.

Southwest Iowa Latino Resource Center

In July of 1998, a young mother and her unborn child, recently emigrated from Mexico, died in an apartment fire in Red Oak, IA. Several other Latino families were displaced by the same tragedy. Jennifer Horner, because of her Spanish-speaking abilities, suddenly became thrust into the role of liaison between English-speaking agencies and Spanish-speaking immigrants affected by the blaze. The Southwest Iowa Latino Resource Center (SWILRC) therefore began from the need for community: a central place where all those affected by language and cultural issues could go to seek assistance.

A grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development allowed Horner to establish SWILRC, which serves several SW Iowa counties. Since that time, the Center has continued to serve as a liaison with public health, housing, law enforcement and other essential agencies and organizations. SWILRC also gives referrals to other programs and services such as ESL classes, legal consultation, and assistance with taxes and immigration. A 2005 grant from the Iowa Department of Education funded an after-school program for second-language students, and computer-based English instruction for adults.

After nearly a decade of working with Hispanic immigrants, Horner realized the potential value of a series of educational videos, produced in Spanish, which would provide immigrants with information on topics that directly affect their daily life and well-being. As the ÉXITO series Director, Horner wrote many of the scripts, organized local actors and video shoots, gathered resources for printed materials, and provided pre-editing for all videos. She will continue to lend her expertise and inspiration to the ÉXITO series, as well as emerging projects that benefit immigrants.

Iowa State University Extension

Iowa State University demonstrates the land-grant mission: making education open and accessible to all. University Extension takes this overall goal of sharing knowledge and extends it out to communities across Iowa, and beyond. Extension builds partnerships and provides research-based learning opportunities to improve quality of life in Iowa. Programs such as Iowa Community Voices, a leadership development program, reach out to new immigrants throughout the state of Iowa, facilitating active immigrant participation in communities, schools and government activities. ISU Extension is committed to diversity, embracing the rich differences within the multiplicity of human expression and characteristics.

Members of the ISU community contributed to the ÉXITO EN EL NORTE project. ISU Extension supplied filming, production, and other technical assistance, as well as creative input. Experience Education would particularly like to thank Steve Adams, Community Development Specialist/Mills County Extension, for his generous contributions of knowledge, time and effort.