Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School

This first picture isn't from Chavez but it is Tom showing some of the treats he received this week for tilling gardens for friends.  He tilled 7 gardens Wednesday and Friday.  On Wednesday he was at Gretka Domer's and she sent home brown eggs and peanut butter cookies.  Two of her neighbors came over while Tom was there and offered him cash jobs.  So he came home with his money and took me out to dinner.

Several of you mentioned that you would like to hear about my work for Grand Rapids Public Schools.  Today I was at Cesar E. Chavez Elementary which was known as Hall Elementary until this year.  Chavez is an appropriate name because the school is surrounded by the Hispanic community.  This picture is the new school which is under construction and will open in the fall.   It sits right next to the old school which will be torn down as soon as the new school is ready.

The Hispanic Center is across the street from the school.  There are many services available for this community.  I'm sure this is an historic building at the corner of Hall and Grandville.

This is the main entrance to Cesar E. Chavez.   The new school sits behind it.  The old school is in rough shape.

Today I was working with first grade teachers planning writing lessons for the rest of this year and next year.   This is Yvonne, Lisa and Menorca.  Our work is complicated by language issues.  Menorca teaches in Spanish although her writing materials are in English.  So she ends up having to translate everything which takes lots of time.  I did some Internet research today to try and find some of the material in Spanish with limited success.  Can you see the cinnamon rolls on the table?  I try to bake for teachers when I am with them all day.  It puts them in a good mood to have warm rolls to start the day.  I know it is bribery but it really works.  When teachers I have worked with before see me come in the building, they often stop by to see if I have treats.  It just makes everyone happier.  Even the principal stops by for goodies.   Usually on the third day with the same group of teachers, I will bring lunch for them.   I will be back for the third day with these teachers later in May.  Next week I'm with the 2nd grade teachers for the 3rd day so they will get lunch.  For lunch, I usually bring a crock pot of soup and rolls.  That way they smell the soup all morning!

I took this picture while driving down Grandville.  This is a convenience store that looks like a building you might see in Mexico except for that beer truck in front.

This church sits next to the school and looks Mexican to me too.  That is the teacher's parking lot on the left.  There aren't enough spots for all the teachers so by the time I get there each day, I end up parking on the street which I don't like because Grandville is such a busy street.

I really enjoy my time at Chavez.  Every visit has been postive and I am always warmly welcomed there.  The Grand Rapids Public School teachers work very hard with many challenges daily.


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