Every child should have the opportunity to receive a high quality education. Education is the key to success in life, but unfortunately, not all children have the opportunity. The bad experience I had when I was younger is the main reason I fight for quality education, and a safe environment, for my children. I attended elementary school in Mexico, and I never imagined my first school year would traumatize me for so long. I remember how rude the teacher was with many of the students. He would punish me when I didn’t know how to pronounce something correctly, hitting me with his ruler, or an eraser. I’ve never forgotten his hard gaze. I didn’t say anything to my parents, because I was scared. Also, I thought his punishments would get worse if I spoke up. Many teachers at that school were good, but some of them were not meant to teach. This is also true here in the United States, and in my own neighborhood; East-Side San Jose, California.
11 years ago when I started a family of my own, I began to fight for quality education. Before my oldest son started kindergarten, I was already looking for great schools that would provide him with a high quality education. I was worried because my son was timid, and did not talk very much. I didn’t want my children to have a bad experience like I had in my childhood.
I found a local school in my community, Rocketship Mateo Sheedy. My two daughters ended up attending this elementary school as well. I liked the quality of education, and their values. I had excellent communication with the principal, Ms. Guerrero, their teacher, Lorena Chavez, and the rest of the staff. Another principal was Jason Fromoltz, and he had this incredible enthusiasm for the students. I liked when Mr. Fromoltz said, “the students have to be ready with their uniform like they’re going to church.” He gave so much effort. Later on, I decided to switch my younger daughter to a different Rocketship school, Rocketship Rising Stars. I appreciated this opportunity, and option. Although at first I thought twice, because Rocketship Mateo Sheedy was like my home.
When my son graduated from elementary school, I was concerned about the school options for middle school. But Rocketship hosted a festival and invited many middle schools. They provided a lot of useful information that helped me choose the best school for my son, and for my family. Also, some parents from different schools shared their own experiences. I ended up really liking KIPP because it had a similar curriculum and high expectations. When I enrolled my son, he was on a wait list because they had many kids who were interested. That year KIPP opened up two new schools; KIPP Heritage and KIPP Prize. I was very lucky, because I had the opportunity to apply for my son to attend both, and he ended up at KIPP Heritage. I love KIPP because they also teach their students about college, and make it a priority for them.
All in all, looking for options that are right for you and your children isn’t easy. I wish all schools were high quality, and the search to find great schools wasn’t difficult. When it was time for my son to transition to high school, I found myself searching for great options in my neighborhood. But that, my friends, will have to wait for my next blog! Please stay tuned.
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