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This December 7th event was held at the Micheltorena Street Elementary School just north of Sunset Boulevard, where teachers, parents and students came together to learn about California's history and its Chicano heritage. This was a project put on by UCLA Chicano Studies Department professor Dr. Octavio Pescador and some of his students from his Paulo Freire Course. Freire was an Argentine educator.
The event began at 9:45 a.m. that day when 5th Grade Teacher Mark. L. Hummer's class performed a skit in the school's auditorium. Next came the Official Opening Ceremony in the Wonder Reading Room at 10:35 a.m. Then at 10:45 a.m., a group of students' parents presented their contributions to the school Community Museum. Mr. Hummer and 4th Grade teacher George Moreno gave a speech to the audience at 11:05 a.m. Following that, the 5th Grade class presented a 1932, 29-minute Laurel and Hardy film entitled "The Music Box." The comedy team played a couple of deliverymen who struggled to deliver a piano, hoisting it up a concrete staircase from Vendome Street at the bottom to Descanso Drive at the top. The pair kept losing their grip and the piano kept rolling back down. The stairway is still there 80 years later.
Mr. Moreno's class then presented an exhibit consisting of an approximately seven-foot high board where the children had written and posted statements on what they had learned about Spain's influence in California. One articulate student, Isabel wrote: "I even learned of the Spain's (sic) mission, also they thought if the indians believed their Catholicism it would help their colony grow. They even taught the indians to make some products so they won't get sick."
School Principal Susanna Furfari offered her insight concerning the event: "This is the first time we're doing this. You kind of learn as you go. Parents had an opportunity to share their culture with their own children, and all the children at the school. The UCLA students were excellent role models for our students. They shared the importance of attending college and giving back to the community. The students had the opportunity to share their work with a larger audience than is typical. The museum was visited by community members and parents from other classrooms."
Mr. Mark Hummer also relayed his students' experiences: "The kids universally spoke of the fun they had working with the UCLA students. Quite a few of them had been to a Music Box Steps Day and they liked connecting that experience to their classwork. But mostly they said that it was fun! The greatest thing about this project was the enthusiasm that Dr. Pescador's students brought to the venture. It was gratifying to witness the synergy that developed between the college and elementary students that day."