The Camino Nuevo Way | February 2018
Newcomers Celebrate College Acceptances
College acceptance letters have started to arrive, and we are encouraged that so far more than half our high school seniors have been admitted to four-year colleges, including several of our students who recently arrived to the United States. Among them is Monica Perez-Meza, a Miramar High School senior who spoke a few phrases of English when she arrived four years ago from Guatemala. Monica is now a fluent English speaker with a bright future ahead. She has been accepted to three Cal State schools and is waiting to hear from several colleges on the East Coast. Learning English while tackling college-prep classes was challenging. But Monica says she never doubted herself because her teachers wouldn’t allow it. “They helped me so much,” she said. "I also wanted to challenge myself and make my parents proud." As more acceptance letters pour in, we can’t wait to see where Monica and our other seniors decide to spend the next four years.
Students: Schools Need Counselors, Not Guns
In the aftermath of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Camino Nuevo teachers like Pablo DePaz found thoughtful ways to help students process the tragedy. They also are empowering students to use their voices to affect change. "We cannot allow students to become numb to these types of events," says DePaz, who asked his seventh and eighth graders to do research on three ideas to prevent school violence and write a letter to someone in a position of power. Many students chose to write to California Governor Jerry Brown. " There have been 18 shootings so far in 2018, and it is barely February," one student wrote. “ Having counselors in schools, making it harder for people to get guns, and giving more money to schools for security can help prevent school shootings. It would make me feel safer." The students plan to mail their letters to the governor’s office this week. 
Profile: 'Ana Ponce - The Pride of Pico Union'
The Broad Center, an organization at the forefront of expanding excellence and equity in urban public education, has recognized Camino Nuevo CEO Ana Ponce as a leader who is working to produce real results for students and families. In their profile of her, Ana shares what her childhood was like as an undocumented, English-language learner and the lessons she has learned as a leader. " The first issue was that I was a girl, and 'public schools were not safe for girls.' The second issue was, 'If she goes to an all-girls Catholic school, who is going to pay for her tuition?'" Ana recalled.  Read the full story
Look Who Stopped by for Storytime!
Marshall Tuck, a candidate for state superintendent of schools, spent a recent morning touring our preschool campus to learn how we’re giving 4-year-olds a strong foundation to start kindergarten. During the tour, our students lit up with excitement when Tuck paused to read them one of their favorite stories. The tour was led by Alicia Garcia, the center’s associate director, who explained how the school’s bilingual, play-based approach helps students develop social-emotional skills. Tuck listened intently as a mother described her son's challenges and the relief she felt after finding the preschool, which offers a parent support group and mental health services. Thank you to our partners at Child360 for organizing the tour and to Tuck for recognizing the importance of early learning and taking seriously the challenge of our preschool funding gap.  
Young Writers See Themselves in Author's Story
Our Camino Nuevo Kayne Siart sixth-graders who participated in a Skype lesson with award-winning author Ruth Behar recently described how the experience made them feel. "It felt cool to learn from an author who speaks Spanish and immigrated to the USA because me and my family can make connections to her and her experiences,” said Alexia Serrano, one of the students who attended the workshop. Behar, the first Latina to win the MacArthur "Genius" award, said she was thrilled to meet our students and hopes they are inspired to share their own experiences. "It's one of the great things happening [at Camino Nuevo], they invite authors to come out and speak. This never happened when I was growing up, we were so removed and you always read authors that were dead,” she said. Read the full story here .
Students Imagine their Futures as Coders, Lawyers, Entertainers. The Possibilities are Endless.
Each year, we invite a diverse slate of working professionals and alumni to talk with our high school students about their lives and careers. This year, more than 30 presenters visited Miramar High School for Career Day. They included a Harvard-trained lawyer, a university professor of poetry, a journalist with a penchant for interior design, and family therapists and entertainers. For students like Eduardo Rosa, Career Day offered a glimpse of a future they had never imagined. The high school junior perked up when he heard Pedro Espinoza talk about coding and robotics. Espinoza showed students gadgets and robots and talked about his work at a tech center where he teaches teens how to code. "Technology is everywhere," Eduardo said. "But I had never thought about a career in coding until today." Thank you to all the presenters for opening our students' eyes to a world of career possibilities.
Standing Together with Dreamers
At Camino Nuevo, we believe that all students deserve a real chance to succeed - no matter where they come from. Thank you to all those who have made calls to Congress urging lawmakers to take action on a clean Dream Act. Providing a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants and their families is the right thing to do. We continue to call for a permanent solution for Dreamers before thousands more lose their ability to live, work, and contribute to the only country they know.
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Camino Nuevo Charter Academy | 3435 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 

Phone: (213) 417-3400 | Fax: (323) 663-3132 |