Here’s something you may not know about César Chávez Day. César Chávez Day (March 31) was established 17 years ago by legislation (SB 984) authored by Senator Richard Polanco and signed by Governor Gray Davis on August 18, 2000. The legislation proclaiming César Chávez Day also included provisions to the California Education Code (Section 37220-37223) pertaining to curriculum. Legislation required that the State Board of Education adopt a model curriculum guide to be available for use by public schools for exercises related to César Chávez Day as well as establish a César Chávez Day of Service and Learning program. You can read the authorizing law here: César E. Chávez.
Teachers can and should look to the California Department of Education (CDE) website for resources, curriculum models, and information on how to implement the curriculum component in their classrooms.
And so, on March 31 every year since 2000, we celebrate the birth, the life, the works and the legacy of César Chávez, a Mexican-American hero and social justice warrior that time has shown will not be forgotten. Several celebrations around the state have been held this week and will continue throughout the weekend. I felt it was important to mention that the holiday on his birthday was not the only legislative action enacted. Education was important to César Chávez. And it continues to be important as we extol his legacy and honor his life.
In that vein, we were excited to hear from a Comadre today about a visit to Aldama Elementary School in Highland Park who hosted the granddaughter of César Chávez, Julie Chávez -Rodriguez. She visited the school to speak to the kids who have been learning all about Chávez and his work in the fields with the farmworkers. Comadre Jennie Carreon said she was very proud to have her there at her daughter’s school to talk about the great works of Chávez and the United Farm Workers (UFW) of America. Most of us know about César Chávez but many, especially in the upcoming generations are just learning about his life and legacy. That’s why it is so important to thank Senator Richard Polanco for having the foresight to enact legislation that will carry the Chavez legacy well into the future. And it so nice to see that after spending time learning about Chávez at a local elementary school, the granddaughter of Chavez could come to an assembly to tell stories of her childhood and how she remembered that great man, who happened to be her grandpa.
Que viva César Chávez!
Sí Se Puede!
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