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March 2014
2014 PATHS� International Conference
May 15-16, 2014 in Cleveland, OH
Click Conference Website
to find out more and register!
Upcoming PATHS� Presentations

41st Annual Headstart Conference and Expo                        

Rebecca Cortes, will present "Lessons learning from a program-wide implementation of an evidence-based social emotional curriculum" at the 41st Annual Headstart Conference and Expo in Long Beach, CA to be held April 28-May 2, 2014. 


2014 Blueprints Conference

Mark Greenberg and Dorothy Morelli will present "The PATHS� Curriculum: Nurturing Social-Emotional Development and Academic Engagement" at the annual Blueprints Conference in Denver, CO to be held April 14-16, 2014.
Book Review Resource

Are you looking for new books that relate to the PATHS� curriculum? Here is a great resource shared with us by Julie Gest, one of our wonderful trainers!


There are book reviews that can easily be searched by age level or topics, and also author interviews and showcases.  They also have book giveaways regularly!    


Book review by a PATHS� teacher

Thank you to Melanie Christophe, 5th grade teacher from the Allentown Area School District for submitting this book review!  If you have a book that you like using with the PATHS� curriculum, write a review, send it to us, and we'll publish it! 


Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan, is a story of a young girl who migrates from Mexico to Southern California after tragedy strikes her family.  The story is based on the life of the author's grandmother, Esperanza Ortega, who, like the character Esperanza, was forced to leave her native Mexico as a young girl.  This story is one of riches to rags where the character must learn to deal with conflict, strong emotions, bullies, and in general, must learn a new way of life in a foreign country.  Many of the issues that arise for Esperanza are easily relatable to the lessons learned through the PATHS� curriculum.  In fact, Esperanza works through some of her problems in a positive manner similar to the way we encourage our students to handle conflict.                 


Within the first few chapters of the story we learn that Esperanza comes from a life of wealth and happiness.  She is very close to both of her parents, Sixto and Ramona Ortega, as well as her grandmother.  Her father is a ranch owner and a kind man who treats his servants well and regards them as friends rather than subordinates unlike most ranchers in Mexico at the time.  Her father's brothers are also prominent in the community but are quite the opposite personality.  Tio Luis and Tio Marcus are cutthroat and cruel.  One can infer that Esperanza loses her father at the despicable hands of these two men who want not only his money and his ranch, but also Esperanza's very beautiful mother for Tio Luis' wife.  When Ramona refuses Tio Luis' advances, he and Tio Marco burn Rancho de la Rosas to the ground.  At this point, Esperanza and her mother have two choices: Ramona can agree to marry Tio Luis and send Esperanza to boarding school or they can secretly flee to America.   They choose the latter and so Esperanza's story of self-discovery and resilience begins.


With the loss of her father, Esperanza must learn how to handle the death of a loved one.  This is a struggle that she is faced with throughout the story.  While we cannot bring a loved one back once they have died, we can do our best to remember them and to live our lives in such a way that our loved one would be proud. This is exactly what Esperanza does.  When faced with choices, Esperanza stops and thinks about what her Papa would think or do and then responds accordingly.  Her reactions lend themselves well to the PATHS stop, make a plan, and go formula for problem solving. 


While journeying to America, Esperanza begins to learn the golden rule: treat others the way you would like to be treated.  This is a very difficult lesson for her to learn.  However, once she arrives in America and is treated cruelly by a girl from another farming camp, Esperanza realizes how hurtful her actions could be to others.  She learns and feels the pain of being bullied.  This forces her to begin to take notice of her own behaviors towards others and she works to make a change.  Through this process she learns that it is better to give and receive and when you are good and nice to others, they will in turn be good and nice to you.  There are PATHS�  lessons that deal with making good choices, responding to bullies, helping others who are being bullied, and resolving conflict and these experiences of Esperanza's provide situations and character response examples. 


Because Esperanza's family was very wealthy, they had many servants and workers.  Consequently, it was unnecessary for Esperanza to learn such "menial" household chores as sweeping, cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes.  Of course, life on a farming camp is a world apart from the privileged upbringing Esperanza previously had.  Esperanza must learn that one must do what is necessary in order to survive.  She learns to do chores in order to make a contribution to the household she and her mother share with their former servants, Alfonso, Hortensia, and Miguel who helped them to escape to America.  When Esperanza's mother falls ill, she must work even harder.  She asks for help learning how to do various chores and jobs so that she can help to pay her mother's medical bills and still save money to bring her grandmother, who stayed behind in Mexico, to America.  Esperanza's approach lends itself nicely to the PATHS�  study skills, positive motivation, being organized, and dealing with emotions.    


Throughout the story, Esperanza learns that "there is no rose without thorns" as her grandmother taught her when she was young.  Esperanza shows that by being resilient, believing in herself,  and being kind to others, enabled her  to rise above all of the conflict she faced in her young life.  The story ends with a new beginning; one of hope, love, and the fulfillment of dreams. 

Book review by a PATHS Trainer, Julie Gest

My Diary from Here to There / Mi diario de aqui hasta all� 

By Amada Irma P�rez

Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez 2002


Interest level 2-5 and Reading level 3-4




"In an autobiographical outing written in English and Spanish, Amada tells her diary all about her fear of moving from her home in Ju�rez, Mexico, to not only a new town, but also a new country. Fortunately, she has a father who understands her trepidation and he tells her that as a child, he too had to make a similar move in reverse. Still, the trip is fraught with anxiety, especially since once they arrive in Mexicali, another border town, Pap� will leave for Los Angeles to look for work. Once she arrives at her grandmother's, she's surrounded by helpful family members, her uncles telling jokes, doing magic tricks, and doing favors. Then she hears from her father who is picking in the fields of Delano, California. His news is not encouraging, but one day, he sends their green cards and they get set to leave for California. The diary follows them on their journey, until they reach Los Angeles and she closes with the news that Pap� has found a better job. Filling her story with the details of this watershed in her life, P�rez captures the essence of the trauma of moving to a new place that is universal to all children, but here it is expanded by the facts of her immigrant experience. Gonzalez, who teamed with P�rez on My Room (not reviewed), packs her lively pages with vibrant, jewel-toned color and vivid images, illuminating the text and adding the richness of the culture. A nice touch is the back of the book jacket, which is a map of the area, showing the route from Amada's old home to the new one. P�rez has plainly remembered her grandmother's advice: "Keep your language and culture alive in your diary and in your heart." Very nicely done. "

Principal's Corner

For most of your schools, it has begun! The season of "standardized testing"! Encourage and remind your teachers to reinforce calming down and problem solving strategies with students as they prepare for testing.  

We want your ideas! We are looking for your ways to better support your PATHS� program implementation   to let us know what topics you'd like to see in our newsletters! 
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