Mrs. Santa Yanez-Montemayor y sus estudiantes- December 2018.
Academia Cuauhtli (Eagle Academy) is a language and culture revitalization project for 4th and 5th-grade students from Metz, Perez, Sanchez, Zavala and Houston Elementary Schools in the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Academia Cuauhtli offers instruction in Mexican American Studies and Tejano Studies curriculum in Spanish. Our Saturday classes are completely free and taught by AISD master dual language teachers. We envision this curriculum as not only providing the academic support that these children need in preparation for their STAAR exams and improving their general academic performance but also providing enrichment we anticipate will have an enduring impact on them.
This is the first year we were able to offer dual-language classes for the parent's thanks to a partnership with the SEED under the direction of Cameron Allen (https://www.theseedaustin.org/). During these lessons, the parents also have a chance to engage in platicas (or conversations) with AISD administrators, community practitioners, and researchers regarding topics they are interested in.
Mr. Alejandro Martinez and his students reviewing pre-hispanic map-October 2019
Academia Cuauhtli is a collaboration of Nuestro Grupo, the Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and within it, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. Nuestro Grupo is a community-based group organized by the Texas Center for Education Policy and the Tejano Monument Curriculum Initiative, both at the University of Texas at Austin and the National Latino Education Research and Policy Project [NLERAP].
The volunteers at Cuauhtli show up every Saturday at 8:30 am as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as can be. Most of them come after a week of their primary responsibilities as students or faculty members in classes and work. Yet we show up without fail.
At the same time, each Wednesday we sit and discuss logistics of the program until 9 pm with community members. On Thursdays, graduate students meet to go over final details and lessons for the kids. Each week, our dedicated volunteers and coordinators meet during lunch, in between classes, or after class outside of the meetings to make sure we have all the details ironed out.
We do all this because we believe in the spirit of Cuauhtli: it's our home. We aim to create a place where students of Mexican and/or Latino heritage can learn about their roots. A place where they can embrace their culture without fear of prejudice or judgment. A place where they can unabashedly express the dual nature of their identities and be understood.
Rosa Tupina Yaotonalcuauhtli and Academia Cuautli students right before danza con el Grupo de Danza Azteca Xochipilli- December 2018
We show up without fail because we see how important these aspects are for creating good and kind citizens. We see how this knowledge and these experiences would have made a difference in our lives and know that we're doing right by the next generation.
Cover breakfast for the kids on regular class days and additional hot meals during field trips. While we usually serve breakfast tacos and/or pizza, we’re trying to expand by providing options which correlate with that week’s theme and centers of learning.
A kayaking field trip for the students in the fall semester to correlate with our lessons of water and the importance it has in our lives today and the sacred place it held in the hearts of our ancestors.
Help us rent equipment and spaces to showcase the students’ art and give our volunteers a treat to show our gratitude for all their hard work and dedication!
Cover transportation, food, and art supplies costs for 4 months! The first 5 donors at this level will receive a personalized Thank You video from the students and volunteers.
The love of all the community has built Cuauhtli Academy. All kiddos and parents represent the fraternity and love that we carry out since our ancestors. Money received from this level will help us cover special accommodations for students with disabilities. The first donor at this level will be invited to our first convivio next year when he or she will be able to know families.
Our straight is our culture. Money received at this level will help to participate in different field trips around Texas, as it is the Pow Wow. The first donor at this level will be able to come to our first field trip.