|Cuauhtli Graduation Ceremony|
May 2, 2015
Through appropriate links to news items, videos, blog links, and websites, I am happy to share with you some important work of which I and many others have been a part in Austin, Texas. This involves working in a community-based organization named Nuestro Grupo (meaning "Our Group") that consists of highly-respected advocates, elders, university faculty (representing 5 area universities), and students with both the City of Austin and the Austin Independent School District in establishing a Saturday school that we call "Academia Cuauhtli" (Cuauhtli Academy) on he beautiful grounds of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, an Austin cultural arts community institution located on 600 River St.
This is NOT a charter school,
but rather a legal, three-way partnership effort to develop curriculum in the context of our Saturday academy—as succinctly expressed in the KLRU/PBS video below.
|UT History professor|
We have worked collectively together to co-construct curricula in the area of civil rights, immigration/migration, and local history and are in the process of developing curricula in the areas of indigenous heritage, women, and the cultural arts. The cultural arts focus is currently on Danza Mexica (Aztec dance) and will soon incorporate Tejano (Texas Mexican) music.
In addition to the participation of AISD teachers, a lot of hard work by lots of committed volunteers has gone into this effort and we will continue as planned for the 2015-16 school year when we enroll our next cohort of AISD fourth graders attending Metz, Sanchez, and Zavala Elementary Schools located in East Austin.
Worthy of note is that while our academy focus is only on these three schools as per our formal partnership agreement, our curriculum is otherwise already available to all AISD teachers in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 11 district wide. Hence, what we have developed in this small nucleus of a Saturday school is having district-wide impacts. We hear anecdotally that it is primarily ur bilingual/dual language teachers that are implementing the curriculum in our district. We hope to secure a grant that will allow us to research the impact of this curriculum on teachers, children, parents, and community. Will keep everybody posted as things progress.
Local Television Video
- KLRU/PBS Video (May 1, 2015), Academia Cuauhtli Works to Bridge History with Language
- Austin American-Statesman (January 15, 2015 English),New Hispanic enrichment program to teach students about their roots
- Austin American-Statesman (January 15, 2015 Spanish), Academia Cuauhtli enseñará historia tejana a niños
- AISD Office of Academics Website
Cuauhtli Graduation Ceremony
Academia Cuauhtli Blog Posts