The Alliance for Cultural and Educational Services (ACES) is a non-profit corporation that aims to provide services related to education and culture. In 2002, the founding members of this association concluded that knowledge of the American culture and other dominant cultures could benefit Filipinos and other immigrants in the United States as they deal with others and relate to their jobs. For example, there are things that Americans say and do that may appear offensive to a Filipino. To call someone to come, it’s okay for some Americans to close their fist leaving the forefinger moving back and forth. To some people, this gesture is not acceptable- It’s like calling a dog. In one culture, students have to stand up when they recite. In the United States, students do not have to stand up if they want to participate in the classroom.
The founding members of the association recognized the need for adults to be aware of the culture of their adopted country and those of the people that they deal with everyday. For example, teachers from the Philippines who come here to teach have to modify their classroom management approaches to match students’ needs and characteristics. They also need to understand the evolving culture of the youth. In like manner, it is ideal for the youth to know the culture of their parents and grandparents.
The numerous examples that were brought up during the organizational meeting led to the following objectives of the Alliance for Cultural and Educational Services.
1. To promote understanding and appreciation of the cultures of the Philippines, United States and other countries;
2. To establish broader working relationships with parents, professionals and agencies in the United States and other countries that pertain to education and culture;
3. To promote the professional and cultural growth of Filipino, Filipino-Americans and other educators;
4. To provide charitable assistance to the needy and the aged;
5. To raise funds for its charitable projects and educational and cultural research;
6. To grant scholarships and achievement awards to deserving students.
Based on the forgoing objectives, the founding members have planned activities that
could help educators, parents, students and other community members. These include the following:
1.Arts, Music, and Dance Festival – A drug abuse prevention alternative
program in collaboration with the Philippine American Friendship day Committee, Inc. (PAFCOM)- CDI.). This includes “on the spot” essay and writing and painting contests and an “Iskwelehang Munti in Jersey City.
2. Adopt a Community in the Philippines
It aims to help a "barrio" or barangay by providing artisian wells and other services.
3. Adopt a School in the Philippines
It aims to give consultations to educators, award scholarship to indigent but deserving students and to donate books and other instructional materials. Two educators in collaboration with the Reading Association of the Philippines will give training to teachers and additional scholarships will be awarded to needy high school students.
4. Teachers Examination and Cultural Awareness Workshop
ACES in partnership with the Association of Filipino Teachers of America (AFTA) will conduct workshop to prepare teachers to be certified in New York or New Jersey and to help them deal with students, parents, co-teachers and others with different cultures.