|Home to Academia Cuauhtli Saturday School, pictured is the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center located at 600 River St., Austin, Texas|
It is with great satisfaction and great pride that we inaugurate our Saturday school, Academia Cuauhtli (Eagle Academy)—a language and culture revitalization project—at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. Students get taught in Spanish a Mexican American Studies / Tejano Studies curriculum in grade 4, targeting three nearby east Austin elementary schools—Metz, Sanchez, and Zavala.
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We are very grateful to our event sponsors - The University of Texas Center for Mexican American Studies, the Austin Independent School District, the University of Texas Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, the University of Texas Tejano Monument Curriculum Initiative, the University of Texas Center for Education Policy, and the Austin Area Association for Bilingual Education.
This involves a partnership involving Nuestro Grupo (our community based organization organized by the Texas Center for Education Policy and the Tejano Monument Curriculum Initiative, both at the University of Texas at Austin and the National Latino/a Education Research and Policy Project [NLERAP], its fiscal agent and national nonprofit organization), the Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and within it, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center where the Saturday academy will take place.
This has been a labor of love. Our team is so talented and passionate about the whole initiative. It is quite a beautiful thing. Our inauguration takes place on Saturday, January 10, 2015, from 11:00AM-3:15PM at 600 River St. in central Austin. We will be serving tamales, pan dulce, and chocolate. We will have performances by our district's mariachi and ballet folklorico students. There will be Mexica dancers with copal and they will explain the meaning of the dances. Come celebrate with us if you can.
Mil gracias, thanks for all involved (hope I got everybody) as follows: Dr. Angela Valenzuela, Dr. Pauline Dow, Martha Cotera, Oralia Garza de Cortes, Dr. Emilio Zamora, Brenda Rubio, Laura Esparza, Tiffany Moreno, Brenda Ayala, Noreen Rodriguez, Martha Sanchez, Olivia C. Hernandez, Dr. Isabel A. Millán, Larissa Davila, Alonzo René Mendoza, Anthony Martinez, Modesta Trevino, Dr. Christopher Milk, Gina Tillis, Patricia Núñez, Dr. Manuel Xavier Zamarripa, Jessica Ochoa Zamarripa, Julia Hernandez, Kristina Gutierrez, Jesse Gainer, Nancy Valdez-Gainer, Randy Bell, Juan Ramirez, Dr. Ramon Martinez, Dr. Luis Urrieta, Dr. Arcelia Hernandez, Belinda Jiménez, Manuel Martinez, Luis Ramirez, Julia Hernandez, Yvette Cardenas, Fernando Rios, Joanna Sanchez, Juan Oyervides, Kathy Mariscal, Maria Vaso, Dr. Beatriz Gutierrez, Dr. Deb Palmer, Dr. Delia Montecinos, Paola Ferate, Dr. Haydee Rodriguez, A.J. Hope, Jennifer Ross, Beatriz Hernandez, Clarissa Riojas.
Special thanks, in particular, to our resident historian, Dr. Emilio Zamora, who inspired this curriculum that grew out of the Tejano Monument Curriculum Initiative. Here is a story about the Tejano Monument Curriculum Project: http://ows.edb.utexas.edu/site/tejano-history-curriculum-project. The monument itself is located on the southeast side of the Texas State Capitol.
Thanks as well to the fantastic AISD team of curriculum writers as part of the Curriculum Writers Cadre, and most especially to our committed AISD dual language teachers who because of their efforts, the curriculum is TEKS-aligned (i.e., adapted to state standards) and is currently available in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 11. We have all become one big family!
AISD's Chief Academic Officer Dr. Pauline Dow and ESB-MACC staff, especially Tiffany Moreno, and Laura Esparza from the Parks and Recreation Department have been awesome partners, as well.
With a new grant from Humanities Texas, the curriculum will expand to indigenous heritage, women, and the cultural arts.
Also worthy of mention is that this has involved the participation of faculty from the following five universities located in Austin, Texas:
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Huston Tillotson
- St. Edwards University
- South University
- Texas State University
Dr. Angela Valenzuela