Las Cruces, NM, Sept 6, 2018 – The State Public Education Commission (PEC) voted to approve the Raíces del Saber Xinachtli Community School’s application Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. The PEC approved Raíces application to move forward into their planning year and the 90:10 dual language immersion school is slated to enroll K-1 students in its first year, adding one grade each year until K-5. Raíces del Saber, (Spanish for Roots of Knowledge) Xinachtli (Nahuatl for the moment a seed germinates) Community School will open their doors to students in Dona Ana county in August 2019.
Raíces del Saber Xinachtli Community School (Raíces) is a public charter that implements a developmentally appropriate rigorous academic program through an interdisciplinary curriculum that is experiential, participatory, biliterate, child centered and culturally responsive. Reclaiming regional, local history and heritage is integral to the mission of Raíces, specifically within a US-Mexico Border context within Doña Ana county and surrounding areas.
"I would like to say that I'm so excited that there's now an opportunity for my daughter to be a part of a program that will allow her to value education while learning about all aspects of her cultural heritage. This program will be a great opportunity to help me pass down to my daughter the gift of language that will keep our Mexican family traditions alive in the absence of my mother and grandmother, who would've helped to make sure every generation be given the gift of knowing and learning the Spanish language,” Nahtasha Garza-Swindle, parent.
Innovative in its approach to education, Raíces implements the Xinachtli instructional model through which children learn the use of symbols and metaphors to conceptualize their relationship with the natural world, a Mesoamerican base-20 mathematics system, and Nahuatl (Aztec) as an enrichment language. Student outcomes also include biliteracy in English and Spanish that promotes s ubject matter proficiency and positive identity formation through a culturally responsive curriculum. Raíces promotes parent participation in all aspects of school life continually reinforcing the bridge between home and the classroom.
Raíces has forged a meaningful relationship with New Mexico State University and has partnered with NMSU College of Education, Myrna’s Children’s Village NMSU (a special pre-school project committed to well-being of children). Raíces hopes to continue collaborations with the Children’s Village project and the NMSU Teacher Preparation Program by providing an instructional model that supports highly qualified teachers who instruct in bilingual and bi-cultural classrooms.
Other community relationships and supporters include the Mayor and members of the Las Cruces City Council, NMSU Director of Ethnic Studies, Director of the NMSU Early Childhood Program, RAZA Development Fund, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, New Mexico Early Childhood Partnership, Ngage New Mexico, CAFé, La Semilla Food Center, Dual Language Education of New Mexico, and early childhood education programs such as Doña Ana County Head Start and the Children’s Reading Alliance of Doña Ana County. Raíces has also established relationships with W.K. Kellogg Foundation and McCune Foundation for support and resources. For more information or questions please contact Lucia V. Carmona (Coordinator) at 575-571-2177 firstname.lastname@example.org or Rocio Benedicto (Board Member) at email@example.com.