It’s been a long and arduous journey but we have finally reached our destination. Tomorrow, at 11:30AM, members of the People’s Assembly for Popular Education & Liberation, a coalition of community activists, teachers, parents and students, will be holding a press conference to inform the community of our intent to hold registration for our summer school program on Saturday, July 11th, from 9:30AM – 1PM. Summer classes are scheduled to begin on Monday, July 13th, starting at 8AM and concluding at 5PM each day until August 21st.
Since launching our Hungry for a Better Education campaign on May 24, 2009 – a campaign designed to pressure LAUSD school board members and the superintendent to save teachers and reduce class size – we have occupied the sidewalks of John Leichty Middle School, Miguel Contreras High School, Santee High School and the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Over that period of time, teachers, community activists, parents and students, including the Danza Mixteca Cuauhtemoc, have vowed to fight against a system that has decided to abandon our students to an uncertain and dangerous future. The stakes are too high to sit back and watch our kids get lured into a life of crime and violence by gang members and drug dealers. Their future is too valuable to ignore what is happening, too important to walk away, especially for something so insignificant like the Lakers’ parade or Michael Jackson’s funeral service.
We understand, perhaps better than our elected and appointed officials, the ramifications of these budget cuts because we are the ones who have to see the future of our communities, our kids, waste their lives away instead of striving to improve them. Our drop out rate has shot through the roof, and now our youngest children will not be able to attend kindergarten because the district feels we need administrators more than educators.
On Monday, July 13th, the community of Los Angeles will be taking back what is rightfully ours: our children’s education. We are going to show up and teach, mentor and inspire young kids to believe in themselves and in us, their teachers, parents and friends. We are their future, and we will not let them down anymore.
As we get ready to embark on this, our latest attempt to save our kids, we would like to make one final call to educators and parents, including young adults and members of the community who believe in this struggle to volunteer as tutors for our elementary school kids. We need your help if this summer program is going to be successful. So spread the word. Talk to your neighbors, your friends, and your family members and encourage them to volunteer. We will be holding classes at Vista Hermosa Natural Park, 100 N. Toluca Street, near 1st and Beaudry in Downtown Los Angeles all summer long.
Your help and contribution is invaluable. Our kids will thank you some day, I promise you.
Faithfully yours, in solidarity and struggle,