The Paw Print
Last Wednesday, the final faculty lecture of the semester was given to the public. The presentation, “Teaching as Community Activism,” entailed a group of local educators sharing their experiences after traveling to Guatemala.
Within the Alamosa community there are approximately 400 Maya speaking families, originally from the Guatemalan region. In recent years, these students have struggled in the classroom, achieving far lower scores then what is expected by American standards. Educators seemed to be struggling with the fact that these students weren’t of Spanish-speaking decent.
In 2006 and 2007, Dr. Sheryl Ludwig, of the Education Department at Adams State, decided to organize two separate groups of local K-12 educators to actually visit the country of Guatemala. Each group remained in the country for twelve days interacting and learning from native teachers, students, and their local families.
“We wanted to better understand Guatemalan students,” Dr. Ludwig said. The travelers spent most of their time learning about their country and how to help local students in Alamosa achieve higher academic success.
The local teachers who traveled to Guatemala have actually given presentations on what they discovered at a number of national conferences, but Wednesday night was the first time they shared the information here in Alamosa. “We felt the community needs to know,” Dr. Ludwig said.
Both trips were funded through a Title III grant, however, according to Dr. Ludwig, local teachers have actually offered to pay out of their own pocket to visit the country. “It was kinda an aww moment for me,” she said.