Every year, Durham Public Schools teachers and administrators are given the opportunity to apply for the Visions “Connecting the Americas” program. This annual program serves as a professional development experience and is organized by the Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs, alongside the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
As the Latino student population grows in Durham, teachers use this experience as a tool to help them better understand the cultural differences of students and their families and bring Latin American content into the classroom. Visions teachers aim to help students develop fluency in English, lift up their cultures through culturally relevant lesson plans and ultimately make the classroom an engaging learning environment for all students.
This year’s participants were teachers, counselors and administrators from Lakewood Elementary School, R.N. Harris Elementary School, Neal Middle School, Durham School of the Arts and Durham Performance Learning Center.
Ten teachers embarked on this journey in hopes to plan and incorporate Latin American curriculum that engages immigrant students and families in the Durham Public Schools system. Participants were eager to begin their week of learning and teaching experiences in Mexico. Guanajuato is a state in central Mexico known for its agriculture and silver mining. This region has ties to North Carolina with families moving between these states during the last two decades.
Story by Alyzia McAlmon