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Latinos In Action

Northwest Middle School Offers Latinos in Action Class

        This year Northwest Middle School has begun offering Latinos in Action (LIA) as an elective class.  Led by educator Elena Olivo, 27 Latino students are participating. The purpose of LIA is for Latino youth to increase academic excellence, to build leadership skills, and to serve in their communities. The rigorous curriculum prepares students for college and career and builds community and cultural pride.

        There are three components of the LIA program: service, academics, and planning social events.  Students choose which committee they want to provide leadership for but participate in all activities.  Students learn how to write formal emails and how to plan and prepare for different events.

        In September, LIA students created culturally relevant projects displaying their talents through art, video, posters, and PowerPoint presentations. Each student presented in class about their culture. During morning announcements, students shared fifteen different Latinos who have positively influenced society to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month. Students also made alters to celebrate the Day of the Dead, which were exhibited in the school. Students have been excited to share their Latino culture with others.

        As part of the community service component, LIA students served dinner to the Northwest faculty prior to the Family-Student-Teacher Conference in October. The students have begun mentoring and tutoring students at North Star Elementary School.  LIA students will also offer peer tutoring at Northwest.

        Over 100 Utah schools offer Latinos in Action classes, which serve approximately 3,100 students annually. For more information, click here.

 


Students Celebrate Latino Culture

In October, the students from Elena Olivo’s and Jason Miller’s classrooms explored the differences between Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.  Students conducted research and then wrote a one-page essay explaining one of the two celebrations. Students also showcased their creativity through the creation of dioramas symbolic of the family alters Latino families use to commemorate a family member now deceased.  Students also created colorful, paper skulls and cut paper banners (papel picado). Latino students whose families celebrate Dia de los Muertos were excited to share their culture with other students. You are invited to drop by Northwest to see the students’ beautiful and meaningful work.

Northwest Students Creating Decorations for Dia de los Muertos

 


Northwest Students Participate in Dream Act Rally

Comunidades Unidas, an organization dedicated to empowering the Latino Community in Utah, invited the Latinos in Action students along with the students in Current Events to participate in the Dream Act rally. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act applies to children of undocumented parents who entered the country before age 16. The Act is a way to help these students gain legal status through school or military service. Together, students decorated 300 butterflies to contribute to the 11,000 total butterflies representing the number of current Utah Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who are in danger of losing their status now that DACA is ending in March. Many of the students attended the Dream Act rally on November 21 in support of the Dream Act. Northwest Middle School students gathered with other activists to encourage senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett to approve the legislation that was introduced in 2001.

Butterflies decorated for Dream Act rally

 

 

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