East County News Service
January 23, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The Mountain Empire Unified School District in San Diego’s rural East County has forged a partnership with the Imperial Valley Desert Museum to offer Kumeyaay history classes in all of the district’s schools.
Below is information provided by Bob Bordelon, American Indian Education/Title VII facilitator at Mountain Empire, in conjunction with the museum:
The greatest challenge in education today is most often that of inclusion – engaging students with lessons and content that are both exciting and relevant to their own experiences and backgrounds. The benefits of this are obvious, encouraging better behavior and performance academically and socially, and providing a better path forward for self improvement. The consequences otherwise are just as dramatic, with noninclusive and non-representative lessons leaving students feeling isolated, overlooked, and unimportant with little to no voice within their community. Nowhere is this more true than among indigenous students enrolled in our public schools. Far too often, these students experience a higher level of misbehavior, lower scholastic performance, lower graduation rates, and even a loss of identity. These are students with the same energy and potential as their peers, but from such a situation that their future is tragically far-too-often altogether different. As a traditionally overlooked and underdeveloped group, it is vitally important to work together in the 21st century to provide these students every opportunity for self-growth, self-esteem, and self-determination.