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NEWS RELEASE: San Diego Unified, Government of Mexico Celebrate “Children’s Day” with Partnership to Support Bi-National Students

NEWS RELEASE: San Diego Unified, Government of Mexico Celebrate “Children’s Day” with Partnership to Support Bi-National Students
Posted on 04/28/2017

San Diego Unified School District

SAN DIEGO (April 28, 2017) - El Día del Niño (Children's Day) is an annual holiday celebrated in Mexico to honor and celebrate children. While it has been celebrated on April 30 in Mexico since 1925, the San Diego Unified School District is celebrating the special day for the first time on May 1with the announcement of its cross-border education partnership with the Mexican consulate and the Department of Education of Baja California.

“Children traditionally receive presents on the Day of the Child in Mexico, and I believe this new partnership between San Diego schools and the government of Mexico will be a gift for the children we all serve,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten.

The cross-border partnership between the three agencies will provide resources and support to bi-national families and students. San Diego Unified will identify three sister schools that will be first to participate in the cross-border programs.

The programs lead by the San Diego Unified family and community engagement team and the office of leadership and learning will include resources such as, cross-border curriculum support, U.S.- Mexico teacher collaborations, new arrivals student mentorship and welcome programs, parent workshops, and cross-border instructional visits.

The international partnership comes at an important moment for both countries, as the Mexican state of Baja California is welcoming large numbers of US-born students.Over the past six months, more than 1,200 U.S. born students between the ages of 6 and 15 have enrolled in schools in the state of Baja. The Department of Education of Baja California reports that there are currently 55,404 U.S. born students receiving their education within Baja California schools.

Parent deportation, financial distress, parent work schedules, and family emergencies are just some of the reasons students may be obligated to engage in a cross-border education. There are many cases where U.S. born students must leave their schools in the United States and enter into a school in which they do not speak or comprehend the language.

“We are seeing an influx of students transitioning back and forth from U.S. to Mexican schools and vice-versa, experiencing significant culture-shock that has a large impact on their education,” said Baja California's Secretary of Education, M.A. Miguel Ángel Mendoza González.

San Diego Unified serves more than 130,000 students in pre-school through grade 12 and is the second largest district in California. The student population is extremely diverse, representing more than 15 ethnic groups and more than 60 languages and dialects.

“Diversity is one of our core strengths as a school district and a city, just as bi-national students make our schools stronger, it is our job to provide them with every opportunity to achieve educational success,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten.

Continued Marten, “We live in a multi-cultural community where many of our bi-national families and students cross the border daily. Our mission is to provide equal opportunity for students to receive an education, as well as the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare them for full participation in the world of tomorrow - no matter on which side of the border they choose to live.”

Marten further pointed to a recent article in the Times of San Diego which shared the story of a student who was plunged into deep poverty and homelessness due to this particular type of situation. At just 11 years of age this American born student, whose parents were deported to Mexico, was forced to leave his school in the United States. In Mexico, he was not able to attend school and continue his education due to his inability to speak or read Spanish. This student's education was cut short because of the lack of resources available for him to transition successfully. A few years later he returned to the United States alone, but was so behind in school credits that he could not attend regular high school and completely missed out on an education.

“That is one example of why a partnership like this is so vital in today's climate, especially in a bi-cultural city like San Diego,” Marten said. Our school district is proud to join forces with the Mexican Consulate and the Department of Education of Baja California to ensure that our students, regardless of race or cultural background, all have the opportunity to receive a quality education.”

A press conference will be held at 1:00 pm on Monday, May 1, at the Eugene Brucker Education Center in San Diego, CA. Details below.

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WHEN: May 1, 2017 1:00 pm

WHERE: Eugene Bruckner Education Center (front law)

4100 Normal Street, San Diego, CA 92103

SPEAKERS: Cindy Marten, SDUSD Superintendent, Marcela Celorio, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego, Lindsay Burningham, President, San Diego Educators Associations

Media Contact: Isabella McNeil, San Diego Unified School District, 619-341-2343 Imcneil@Sandi.net

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