Students, Friends & Colleagues:
Yes, the legislative session was devastating in so many ways and on so many levels. Hopefully, most of us still have an awesome life outside of the legislature where God's work is still getting done.
Accordingly, a number of you have followed our local community work at Academia Cuauhtli in Austin, Texas. Academia For the last couple of Summers, we have held our marvelous Aztech Kidz Code Summer Camp (see Press Advisory below).
Todos mis respetos, much respect, to founder Azteca Sirias, as well as to project manager, Maria Unda, who is a doctoral student in our Education Policy and Planning program in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Same for all our outstanding teachers shown in the photo below.
In its third year of existence—and with significant help from the City of Austin—AKC will serve over 180 students in three, 3-week summer programs throughout the summer, serving mostly immigrant, working class children in the district’s bilingual/dual language program.
A few extra shout outs to Katya Guzmán, our newly-hired, full-time Academia Cuauhtli Coordinator, ESB-MACC Culture and Arts Manager Michelle Rojas, Division Manager of the Museums and Cultural Programs Division for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department Laura Esparza, and AISD Superintendent Matías Segura and his many amazing staff, together with Yvette Cardenas and Cody Fernandez in the AISD Multilingual Department.
At the city level, special thanks to City Council Members Vanessa Fuentes and Chito Vela for their incredible support for everything Cuauhtli.
Abundant thanks, as well, to Gerardo Gandy and our many friends at Gensler Architects for your books donation and our budding partnership. Last, but not least, abundant thanks to both Dr. Victor Saenz and UT College of Education Dean Charles Martinez for supporting our efforts over the years. It definitely takes a village.
Geez, I need to take this class! Just listening to this makes me feel both excited and lost. This, despite our young people being more than ready for this AP preparatory, Computer Science curriculum.
Academia Cuauhtli and AKC come out of the Ethnic Studies Movement, the latter of which tends to focus on secondary and college level teaching, instruction, and curriculum development. Given this lack of focus on children and adolescents, both our regular and Summer programming helps fill this yawning gap.
My heart is full.
P.S. Emilio and I will be with another Academia Cuauhtli initiative, namely, La Colaborativa Cuauhtli—this June in Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico. Thanks to funding support from LILLAS at UT, we are bridging our work involving Central Texas bilingual/dual language education teachers with an initiative of the University of Arizona Tucson. Specifically, Emilio and I are this years' Richard Ruiz Scholars in Residence at Resplandor International, a special needs rural school for the rural children of Guanajuato, GTO. Thanks to University of Arizona Professor Emeritus, Dr. Todd Fletcher, for honoring us with this invitation. More to come soon on La Colaborativa Cuauhtli.