Guest Speaker: Mrs. Reyna
Valued Community Member and Pitman Middle School Parent/ neighbor Rosalinda Reyna visited our Spanish class as a guest speaker last week. Mrs. Reyna (Noemi’s mom) shared with us many beautiful slides detailing Toluca, one of Mexico’s most visited tourist locations as well as some off the beaten path locations, that only a local would know. We also learned about Toluca University and the school system in Mexico. Mrs. Reyna shared with us some typical cultural traditions as well as information about how in the cities, children are now also celebrating Halloween along with their Dia de Los Muertos activities. Regional food specialties were discussed like Chorizo, for which the region is famous. Students happily enjoyed Barras de Piña y de Fresa(Mexican Pineapple and Strawberry Cookies) y Jugo de Mango y Durasno (Mango and Peach Juice) during the presentation.
One of the most interesting parts of the presentation, which was done by Mrs. Reyna in Spanish (with translation as needed) was the discussion about school in Mexico as compared to school in the United States. It was noted in Mexico, even in public school, uniforms must be worn daily. School supplies and uniforms must all be purchased by the parents and an inscription fee must be paid each semester to attend public school. Some sample school supplies from Mexico were passed around for students to view. Students noted instead of books, parents bought their children single, brightly illustrated papers with key points needed for each subject area.
It was noted in Toluca, a progressive state, it is expected that everyone would attend school-both males and females. However, it was also explained that not everywhere in Mexico do all students get to go to school. Often times if there is a question of economics, only the male child will attend. It is also noted if there is no money for school supplies, uniforms, and materials, then sometimes no one can attend. Often times instead of attending school, students of the same age as our Middle School students are already out working doing odd jobs and helping the family in any way possible.
Mrs. Reyna ended her presentation with an encouraging word to all the students. She reminded students to study hard and to be grateful for the many educational opportunities provided to them here in Pitman. She noted our school was lovely and had a congenial spirit among the students and teachers.
I believe we can say without a doubt that we are grateful to Mrs. Reyna, a Pitman parent, neighbor, and Valued Community Member for volunteering to come into our school and share her stories and information about Mexican culture in Spanish. We had the opportunity to learn and grow in knowledge of the world around us as well as practice our Spanish during Mrs. Malvaez’s visit.
iGracias a la Señora Reyna y a su familia!