culture

This Mariachi Program Is Helping Boost Attendance and Morale At A California Elementary School

Nestled deep in the San Fernando Valley is Pacoima, a Latino-heavy working-class Los Angeles-area neighborhood with high crime activity and poverty rate. But it’s not all gloom and doom in Pacoima. The neighborhood’s Haddon Avenue Elementary School has implemented engaging and playful learning opportunities for its young students through its STEAM-rich (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) academic programs. One of those enrichment clubs is its Woodcraft Rangers mariachi club.


The Woodcraft Rangers Mariachi Club is the only one of its kind in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

giphy-4
CREDIT: YouTube/Woodcraft RangersPhoto

There are currently 40 performers in the ensemble, aged 6 to 11, who are learning to play instruments found in traditional mariachi music.

giphy-5
CREDIT: YouTube/Woodcraft RangersPhoto

These pint-sized performers are so popular there’s a waiting list to join the club.

giphy-6

There is also a steady stream of requests to play performances at local parades, festivals and dinners, according to NBC Los Angeles.

“This is the home of Ritchie Valens, so when Jackie from Woodcraft said, ‘Hey, this is something we should bring to the school,’ I was like, all my chips are in because these kids really need the arts,” said Richard Ramos, principal of Haddon Avenue Elementary School.


But the program is doing more than expose these kids to the arts — it’s also helping them to stay in school.

giphy-7

School attendance at Haddon has increased. Not just that, but it’s helping improve the kids’ behavior. Ramos tells Fox 11 that a third grader curbed his bad behavior so he could join the mariachi program.


“One of the benefits that we’ve seen, is that the students that are participating, are doing better in class, and that’s significant for me as a principal because we want our kids to do better,” Ramos said.

giphy-8

With its increasing popularity, he is contemplating making the program available five days a week.


WATCH: Mariachi-nitos

Would you want your kids to attend an enrichment program like this? Let us know in the comments below!

This Latina Just DESTROYED Donald Trump On His Recent Racist Comments

Politics

This Latina Just DESTROYED Donald Trump On His Recent Racist Comments

Credit: CNN / YouTube

“He is just as American as Donald Trump.”

ICYMI, Donald Trump has tripled (quadrupled? quintupled?) down on his racist attacks on Mexican-American judge Gonzalo Curiel. Curiel is currently presiding over the Trump University fraud lawsuit and has ordered the release of sealed documents that all but prove that it was one big scam. But as the non-partisan Politifact has noted repeatedly, facts don’t matter to Donald Trump. Curiel, according to Trump, is unqualified to judge him and his scammy ways because of his Mexican heritage.

Curiel was born in Indiana to Mexican parents. In fact, Curiel’s father came to the United States well before Donald Trump’s own mother, who at the time was exactly the type of immigrant that Trump has denounced.

That was the last straw for Republican strategist Ana Navarro, who went on CNN to call Trump out on his blatant racism. Navarro stood up to her party’s presumptive presidential nominee by accusing him of trying to distract the public from the Trump University scam. And she didn’t stop there. She went on for a full minute roasting Trump.

In the end, Navarro left viewers — and probably Trump — with this little piece of advice:

“If this is his strategy to win over Hispanics, he’s got a hell of a wake-up call coming to him come November.”


READ: Donald Trump Tries To Discredit Judge By Calling Him A Mexican

Register to vote today by downloading the Latinos Vote app for iOS and Android. Our voice matters. #WeAreAmerica

Paid Promoted Stories