Puerto Rican Action Board
The Puerto Rican Action Board is a community organization offering assistance to diverse central New Jersey residents. The organization began in 1971 as a group of volunteers offering English classes to those who would need it. The organization began by teaching English to the recently arrived Latino community and has now evolved to helping all diverse. This is an important site of growth in New Jersey for the Latino community and now other members of the New Brunswick community are finding assistance through this organization. This site is located in New Brunswick on Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick is a hub for the Latino community, which makes the site very accessible.
Backstory and Context
The Puerto Rican Action Board is a human services organization with a broad variety of offerings. The Board began in 1971 as a group of Puerto Rican and Latino giving English classes and helping newly arrived Latinos achieve high school equivalency. 3 years later the organization began running state-funded ESL and GED programs. This helpful group eventually became the first full-time bilingual or multicultural Daycare Center in New Jersey. This model has held true to present day, the organization offers youth, family, and community services to 30,000 people in Central Jersey. The Puerto Rican Action Board is a pioneer to serving a newly developing community in New Jersey.
The Puerto Rican Action Board has been the Ideal Community Action Agency for New Jersey, all the offerings they bring to under served communities are a great benefit to everyone in the area. The growing Latino and Caribbean communities in the New York area have been growing rapidly for half a century. Since the Second World War in 1945 until 1955 more than seven hundred thousand Puerto Ricans arrived in the U.S. This increase of uneducated immigrants resulted in a necessity to help these people adjust. In order to usher a new population of Americans and offer these people the best opportunity to succeed in a new environment. Puerto Rico during the same time as the opening of the Puerto Rican Action Board, was demonstrating on their civil rights and having a surge of nationalism. A rise in nationalism created a sense of togetherness of those who identify as Puerto Rican. These factors contributed to the survival and continued success of the Puerto Rican Action Board. The newly migrated Puerto Ricans to the United States required the involvement of the Puerto Rican Action Board to become educated. This Increase in the education level of this new population allowed them to contribute at a higher level to the economy.
Today, New Brunswick has a large community that identify as Latino or Caribbean. Puerto Ricans were the first Latino ethnic group to arrive in New Brunswick in 1948. In 1980 the population of Puerto Ricans in New Brunswick was 3,277, 8% of the total population, in 2016 that population had declined. The Puerto Rican Action Board today is something more than a service organization dedicated to a specific ethnic group. Today, they service all demographics for a variety of purposes.
The Tragedy of Hurricane Maria was an example of one of the purposes the Puerto Rican Action Board can fulfill. During the recovery after Hurricane Maria Juntos Together joined forces with the Puerto Rican Action board. The Board raised money to offer first responder relief to the people of Puerto Rico. This project meant a lot to the people involved, Puerto Rico was destroyed and the volunteers were able to assist in the reconstruction of a beautiful nation.
The Puerto Rican Action Board offers a variety of services that offers the new population qualifications common in America. The Early Childhood Services enable children from six weeks to five years old develop skills towards becoming responsible community members. The Goals of the Early Childhood Services are to involve parents, to develop students, and meet early childhood standards. The Youth Programs at the Puerto Rican Action Board are intended to further their skills and talents. The goals for the Youth Program include improvement of grades by at least one grade level, develop positive attitudes and behaviors and skills, and assist in the graduation of those in the program. The Board also offers housing solutions to members of the community to benefit from energy conservation services. Family services offered by the PRAB help families to develop and strengthen their involvement in the community.
“Puerto Rican / Cuban - Migrating to a New Land - Immigration...- Classroom Presentation: Teacher Resources - Library of Congress.” Puerto Rican / Cuban - Migrating to a New Land - Immigration...- Classroom Presentation | Teacher Resources - Library of Congress. Accessed October 6, 2019. https://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/cuban3.html.
Montes, Jose Carlos. “Partners in Your Life's Journey.” PRAB, 2016. https://prab.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/PRAB-2016-ImpactReport_web-1.pdf.
“Juntos Together.” PRAB. https://prab.org/juntos-together/. Accessed October 5, 2019. https://prab.org/juntos-together/.
Schwartz, Emma. “Quick Facts: Hurricane Maria's Effect on Puerto Rico.” Mercy Corps, September 23, 2019. https://www.mercycorps.org/articles/united-states/hurricane-maria-puerto-rico.