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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

August 25, 2016
Coming Together

The Immigration Project: We Are Pajaro Valley

You can do it, baby!

Why Can't I Skip My 20 inutes of Reading Tonight?
We Are Pajaro Valley continued
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  Coming Together

(A Aug) Fair_GirlwithLlama2.jpgI caught this sweet photo at a distant state fair.  Just imagine, they are happening all over the country now.  It's a traditional gathering that brings us all together and that is good. This year's fair theme is "Cows, Plows & Oh Wows."

Immigration is a BIG DEAL in our country because we are a nation of immigrants with a fascinating history of waves from differing cultures.  Some of us have researched our own family histories with websites like  Recall in last week's newsletter Christine's graphic display of our very first immigrants thousands of years ago? I've been wondering how a teacher could handle the topic of immigration in the classroom without getting into heated discussions on "Smash all borders" vs "Get in line and wait your turn."

​While pondering this I decided to check in with the COE ​(County Office of Education).  There on the home page was an informative article on how one teacher started a thoughtful approach to handling the topic of immigration in the classroom.  ​Although I did not find an answer to​​ how to discuss the challenging political issues swirling around immigration today, I did find a fine report on an approach that opened children's awareness of their personal immigration stories and fostered respect for others. ​

Should you say to your children, "You can become president someday."  Suki recommends a most thoughtful article: "Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous." Good food for thought.  Thank you Suki!

In case you missed the wonderful article on Reading in last week's newsletter, we included the graphic from it today. The bottom line is potent!

Please recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events! We cannot fit them all into this newsletter.  There are more on the online calendar.

Enjoy your weekend with the family! Parmalee


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  The Immigration Project: We Are Pajaro Valley

(A Aug) ImmigrationPajaroValley2.jpgImmigration has been a hot political topic, especially in this election year; so how does a teacher talk with students about it? Not so easy!

ROP teacher Karen Lemon first imagined this project through ongoing contact with Ms. Judy Stabile, Director of the Pajaro Valley Arts Council (PVAC). A project, first proposed by the San Jose Museum of Art, the "Border Cantos" Project, and then adopted by PVAC as "Immigration, Borders, Boundaries and Beginnings," started Mrs. Lemon thinking about what a great opportunity this would be to create a collaboration between several different school sites, teachers, students and academic courses.

Together they came up with two distinct projects, one that would be created as a way for students to talk about immigration and what it meant to them and their families as part of the Gallery Show, and the other an opportunity to create a public art project. Lemon jumped at the chance for both and offered to orchestrate the student portions of the projects. More great information about this project... >>>>>


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  You can do it, baby!

Leslie Garrett

Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous

Twelve-year-old Gwenyth has dark brown eyes and a fierce desire to change people's negative perception of sharks. She attends West Oaks French Immersion school in Ontario, where she and about a dozen other kids who test as gifted, spend three days every other month exploring topics outside their usual curriculum. Most recently, they studied forensics, searching for clues, avoiding red herrings, and learning how scientists test for DNA evidence.

But it's sharks that fascinate her. She's determined to be a marine biologist some day and has given considerable thought to what she'll need to achieve this. Her teacher, Mrs Ensing, who is optimistic about Gwenyth's prospects, routinely tells her elite group that they can be anything they want to be.

Gwenyth likes her teacher but is troubled by this philosophy. "You can't be anything,' she says, "if you don't manage to get the marks good enough, or if you have the wrong idea about it. There was a guy on YouTube who wanted to be a veterinarian and they made him watch a video of something happening to an animal and he fainted, so he didn't get the job.'

Her skepticism is well-founded. A 2012 LinkedIn survey showed that roughly one in three adults are working at their "dream job', which means that two in three are not. Gallup's most recent State of the American Workplace poll came up with similar results when it concluded that 30 per cent of employees are "engaged' in their work, while 52 per cent are "not engaged' and 18 per cent are "actively disengaged'.

"When you tell somebody: You can be anything,' says Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of Generation Me (2014), "that "anything" they're thinking of is rarely a plumber or an accountant.'

Indeed, a 2011 survey of more than 5,000 children around the world revealed that....Read more>>>>>>

Leslie Garrett is a journalist, author and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail among others. Her latest book for children is a biography of Helen Keller. She lives in London, Canada. FollowLeslie


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  Why Can't I Skip My 20 inutes of Reading Tonight?



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Friday 8pm

Saturday 2pm

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Old Fashioned Campfire for the Whole Family at the Mission
Friday, August 19 from 5:30 pm - 8 pm


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Dance Wilder

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Coming Together
click to view website
  Coming Together
view all details >>
Fourth Friday Family Music Jam
click to view website
  Fourth Friday Family Music Jam
MusicalMe, Inc
Date: The 4th Fri of every month from 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Ages: birth - preschool with caregiver
Details: Your children want from you, more than anything, to sing & dance & play - with you and their loved ones!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 438-3514 view all details >>
Papa Doo Run Run
click to view website
  Papa Doo Run Run
Beach Boardwalk
Date: 09/01/2017
Details: Last free Friday night concert of the summer
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 423-5590 view all details >>
Campfire & Music
click to view website
  Campfire & Music
State Park New Brighton
Date: Every Fri and Sa (Jul 1-Sep 3) at 7:30pm
Details: Campfire & Music Saturdays through Labor Day
City: Capitola view all details >>
Coming Together
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  Coming Together
view all details >>
Paint This! Portrait of Native American
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  Paint This! Portrait of Native American
Palace Art & Office Supply
Date: 09/30/2017 from 11:00am to 6:00pm
Details: We're super excited to be hosting a very special one-day art workshop
City: Capitola Phone: 831-332-9532 view all details >>
Introduccin a Disciplina Positiva (taller en espaol)
click to view website
  Introduccin a Disciplina Positiva (taller en espaol)
Positive Discipline Community Resources
Date: 09/10/2016 from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Details: Introduccin a Disciplina Positiva (Serie de Talleres en espaol)
Special Instructions: Becas Limitadas para la Clase y/o para el Cuidado de Nios (normalmente $10/cada nio)
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 476-7284 view all details >>
Science Saturday: Fossils
click to view website
  Science Saturday: Fossils
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Date: 08/26/2017 from 10:00am to 3:00pm
Details: Decorate a fossil necklace, dig for real fossils, create casts, and more
City: Pacific Grove Phone: 831-648-5716 view all details >>
Parks & Rex - Pool Party!
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  Parks & Rex - Pool Party!
Santa Cruz County Parks
Date: 08/26/2017 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Ages: all
Details: Everyone will have a blast at this end-of-summer summer celebration, which will include with local craft beer, wine, great food
Special Instructions: Buy tickets in advance and save!
City: SANTA CRUZ Phone: (831) 454-7901 view all details >>
Tequila & Taco Music Festival
click to view website
  Tequila & Taco Music Festival
Tequila & Taco Music Festival
Date: Every day (Aug 26-Aug 27) from 11:30am to 6:00pm
Details: Family Day on Sunday vating delicious tacos, all while enjoying a great music lineup
Special Instructions: Children under 12 free
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Kids' Connection with Lorraine Pursell
click to view website
  Kids' Connection with Lorraine Pursell
Lorraine Pursell, M.A.
Date: Every Su, Mon, Tues, Wed, Th, Fri and Sa
Ages: All
Details: The 3 Greatest Gifts You Can Give Your Child
Phone: (808) 936-4370 view all details >>
Be a Student Poll Worker
click to view website
  Be a Student Poll Worker
Votes Count
Date: Every day (Feb 5-Oct 1)
Ages: 16+
Details: Your teen 16+ can be an election poll worker!
City: Santa Cruz County view all details >>
Capitola Begonia Festival
click to view website
  Capitola Begonia Festival
Capitola Village
Date: Every day (Sep 1-Sep 4) from 7:00am to 8:00pm
Details: A Labor Day weekend filled with fun events for the whole family. Beautifully decorated floats, concerts, sand
City: Capitola Village Phone: (831)476-6522 view all details >>
  We Are Pajaro Valley continued

Part One

It all starts with a story. In this case, Mrs. Lemon utilized her new job assignment, teaching Perspectives in Education, in the ECHO (Education, Community, Humanitarian Outreach) Academy at Watsonville High School, to locate teachers studying the history of Pajaro Valley. She worked with them to have students research and write narratives about how their families came to live in Pajaro Valley. The students' stories were enlightening, some from a first person point of view, others from the perspective of great-great grandparents about where they came from and what it was like coming here. A sister program sprung up with teacher Daniel Levy at E. A. Hall Middle School, with middle school students tackling the same writing project.

(A Aug) ImmigrationPVBoy2.jpgThe next part of the project was to photograph the students. After much discussion with her photography students about how to symbolically represent the diversity of cultures in Pajaro Valley with a small number of faces, the students decided that it would be best to photograph students from Watsonville High, E. A. Hall Middle School, and Renaissance High School, and randomly place the text from the stories, in a mix and match fashion behind the images. (A Aug) ImmigrationPVGirl2.jpgThis process produced a wonderful mix of emotions, and spirit that just leaps out from the wall, "This is who we are and WE ARE PAJARO VALLEY".

The wall of 40 3 X 5 foot photos was financially sponsored by a donation to PVAC. Community volunteers and students helped to hang the wall. Without PVAC's and the community's support, the students would not have been able to take part in such an impactful project. Special thanks goes out to Mr. Daniel Levy, teacher and graphic artist extraordinaire, for his wizardry in editing the photos and text.

ROP Immigration Project - the wall displaying student images
Left to right: Judy Stabile, Dan Levy, and Karen Lemon in front of the display wall

The wall is located in the parking area between PVAC at 37 Sudden Street in Watsonville and the YMCA at 27 Sudden Street. It is a public art project and available for viewing 24 hours per day!!!

Part Two

Meanwhile, students in Mrs. Lemon's ROP Photography course at Renaissance High School looked more deeply at the social implications of immigration law. Again starting with story, students were guided in writing poems describing who they are, where they came from, what their dreams are and what they would like people to know about them. The poems ranged from dreaming about "endless ice cream cones" to envisioning a better life through education. Photographs were either collected or made by the students to enhance their poetry. The project was enriched with the finding of an 1836 immigration law book, entitled "Immigration Law, Its Evils and Consequences."

ROP Immigration Project artwork - Graduation

"This book allowed me to talk about the history of Immigration Law and let my students know that what many people are struggling with now is not new," said Mrs. Lemon. Some students' poems and conversations reflected feeling half here and half in their home country, and thus was born the idea of printing images onto silk fabric and the poems onto tea bags with the words of the immigration law book showing through the students' images and words.

The message is a poignant one that law exists, and it does affect humankind.

Students working on the dual projects were able to combine History, English, Philosophy, and Social Justice while learning and heightening their skills in photography, creating a finished piece of art to show publicly and in an art gallery, and to learn what it takes to curate a show. The entire project was capped off with 50 of the students who had collaborated in the show being able to visit the gallery and see their work hanging in place. This Work Based Learning Project took 6 months from planning to viewing. Knowing that approximately 1000 people had seen the gallery project and thousands more will see the public art display is a source of so much esteem to the students!

"I didn't think I could say something that people would want to listen to, and now I know I can make a difference."
- Eric S., student Renaissance High School, Photo

 ROP Immigration Project artwork - Eric

Read Stories Of Immigration - Watsonville High School, ECHO Academy Students (pdf)

Of note, this is the third public art project that Karen Lemon has produced with her students in collaboration with PVAC. To see other projects click on the links listed below:
*Peace in the Streets - 2012
*Tasty, Everyone Has a Place at the Table, Connect to PVAC

Pajaro Valley Arts Presents: We Are Pajaro Valley!

We Are Pajaro Valley reflects the stories, personalities, and responses to our question of how our participants and families came to the Pajaro Valley.

Personal and family stories of their immigration to the United States were written and contributed by students from E. A. Hall Middle School and ECHO students at Watsonville High School.

Their stories have been paired with photographs of youth of our Pajaro Valley, taken by students and teachers from Watsonville High School, Renaissance High School, and E. A. Hall Middle School. These vibrant and energetic images represent the distinct cultural crossroads that makes up our local community.

ROP Immigration Project - the wall displaying student images

Read the "Art Installation Explores Immigration" article in the Register-Pajaronian

Our thanks go to:

  • The students of Watsonville High School, Renaissance High School, and E. A. Hall Middle School
  • Karen Lemon: Renaissance High, ROP and Watsonville High ECHO Academy
  • Daniel Levy: E. A. Hall Middle School
  • Dawn Krenz: Watsonville High School, ECHO Academy
  • Robert Wollenzein: YMCA
  • Community Installation Volunteers
  • PVAC Gallery Committee
  • Judy Stabile and Chris Miroyan, PVAC Board of Directors

This project was done in conjunction with the Pajaro Valley Arts Council exhibit Immigration: Borders, Boundaries, Beginnings, in partnership with the San Jose Museum of Art exhibit Border Cantos.

 Santa Cruz County Office of Education  |  400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060  |  831.466.5600  |

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