The Mexico Center
International Early Childhood Education Forum
The Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), The Mexico Center, and the Confucius Institute at The University of Texas at Austin hosted an International Early Childhood Education Forum in October at the Downtown Campus. Dr. Harriett Romo opened the forum by introducing San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley, who discussed the Pre-K for SA Initiative that will offer full-day pre-kindergarten to eligible four year-old in San Antonio.
A panel, consisting of early childhood education experts from China, Mexico, and the U.S. discussed the best practices in their respective countries in early childhood education. The forum brought to light the differences and similarities each country has encountered tackling the tough job of educating young children. The forum allowed for international scholars, UTSA students, and the community to broaden their view of what early childhood education encompasses and how to improve the education of young children in our own community.
Building Cultures: Assessing the Cultural Heritage of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Borderland.
The Mexico Center and the Center for Cultural Sustainability hosted this two-day interdisciplinary conference reflecting on border culture in November. Fourteen scholars from Mexico and the United States, in the fields of anthropology, architecture, cultural geography, economics, heritage conservation, history, literature, public policy, religion and sociology discussed the aspects of this unique borderland culture to produce a picture of cultural identity that can be appreciated and respected as an asset, and one deserving to be sustained. The keynote speaker was Dr. David Carrasco from the Harvard Divinity School.
UTSA HUD Foster Youth Grant
UTSA HUD foster youth grant which is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives UTSA graduate students and interns an opportunity to mentor foster youth, facilitate educational workshops, provide college access and information, assist with student housing and dorms, and provide financial aid assistance to all foster youth in care. During the month of December UTSA GRA students working under the HUD grant assisted foster youth by sponsoring a coat and blanket drive from November 5, 2012 to January 15, 2013 - “If You Don’t Wear it, Share it,” a blanket and coat drive benefitting foster youth from BCFS and Child Advocates San Antonio. A total of 120 coats were donated along with blankets and other items such as hats, scarf’s and gloves. The students distributed the items to the foster youth agencies. The drive was also aired on Channel 4 News WOAI.
On November 10, 2012, UTSA CAPRI hosted a campus tour for 50 foster youth from Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS) where youth toured the JPL library, Campus Recreation Center, student housing/dorms and the business offices where they received information on Financial Aid, Registration and Admissions. Graduate Students worked closely with UTSA academic offices and student activities offices to organize a very rigorous field trip. They also worked closely with the UTSA Athletic Office to purchase tickets at a discount price to allow all youth to attend. The tour also included a football game (UTSA Roadrunners v. McNeese State University) at the Alamodome Stadium; the trip included meal tickets for youth to purchase at the concession stands. Promotional items were graciously donated from UTSA Offices and used as motivational games to keep youth interested and aware of all the informative information distributed by each office. The purpose of this tour is to educate foster youth about college and have them on campus to experience college, all that it entails and how important student involvement is such as student organization and college sports.
UTSA Summer Institute Grant (City of San Antonio)
CAPRI’s Early Childhood Teacher Initiative in full swing preparing for their Summer Institute. The Early Childhood Teacher Initiative is providing professional development for preschool teachers, teacher assistants, and other early childhood professionals to help them earn Associates and BA/BAAS degrees. The Summer Institute will take place over a period of two three-week sessions and will allow participants to earn at total of nine college credit hours in a six week session. The goal is to establish a learning community and help early childhood professionals establish networks of support for the pursuit of higher education. The first information session was held December 8th bringing UTSA admissions, financial aid, and advising to interested early childhood professionals from around the city. The chant of “all the way to a BA” was echoed through the room as excited students made their way to the different UTSA offices to obtain individual assistance with their transition to applying to become a future UTSA Roadrunner. If you or anyone you know is interested in participating there is still limited space available. Please contact Program Coordinator, Sophia Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-458-2692 for additional information. Deadline to apply is March 1st.