Enrique inspires newly arrived Spanish-speaking students in San Francisco.
This week, Enrique Diaz shared his life journey from undocumented child farm worker to Apple engineer with the students at Mission Education Center Elementary School in San Francisco. Mission Education Center is a K-5 elementary school for newly arrived Spanish-speaking immigrant students. Speaking in Spanish, Enrique provided inspiration and hope to the students and some of their parents at the school.
Mission Education Center provides a transitional program. Students attend the school for only one year to learn the skills and gain the confidence they will need to succeed in American schools.
While Mission focuses on helping the children to learn English, the students are also exposed to an arts program that includes visual arts, performing arts, music and dance.
Mission also takes part in Education Outside offering classes such as their “Clase de Ciencias en el Jardin” (science class in the garden). Mission describes the unique opportunity these children are able to experience in their blog:
As an introduction to the garden, kindergarten children have been exploring the five senses. We learned our animal senses: Owl eyes, pig noses, fox ears, raccoon hands, and lizard tongues! Each week we sang our five senses song and explored a new sense. We went on a garden search for items of different textures when using our racoon hands and the sense of touch. We then sorted the items into egg cartons by type! Our sense of hearing and our fox ears, we found special spots in our garden to make sound maps. Students heard birds, the waterfall, cars, and even each other talking quietly 🙂
The students help to nurture the school’s garden and learn a very important skill in life: how to eat healthy! There is no junk food to be found at this school.
One of the most moving parts of Enrique’s talks is the side conversations he has with the kids. He really knows how to talk with them with respect at their level.
One common topic the children bring up is Enrique’s mom. They want to know how she did what she did and how she encouraged Enrique to do what he did. Enrique brought his mom with him to this event — and she was a hit!
You know Enrique touched these kids’ hearts when you see little girls hugging his legs because they are only “yay-high” or little boys asking him for his autograph as the boys in the photo below did.