Sierra Grande teachers form learning community


Pictured, Sierra Grande teachers Antonia Ortiz, Phyllis Vigil, Javier Gonzalez, Gina Ponce

Sierra Grande teachers Antonia Ortiz, Phyllis Vigil, Javier Gonzalez, and Gina Ponce.

While students in the Adams State University Teacher Education Graduate Program, Sierra Grande teachers Phyllis Vigil, Antonia Ortiz, Javier Gonzalez, Gina Ponce, and Brenda Jimenez, began a grassroots initiative with Dr. Joel Judd, Adams State professor of teacher education, and former Adams State teacher education professor Dr. Sheryl Ludwig.

The Professional Learning Community they formed addresses the diverse needs of their students and increases parental and community involvement in school. The program has grown to include colleagues, students, and parents in the Blanca/Ft. Garland area.

"These teachers and their work are examples of the power of learning communities in schools, and how professional growth leads to teacher initiative and advocacy on behalf of diverse students," Judd said.

Four of the teachers presented their work at the Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting held in Denver in March. The presentation, titled "Increased Access to Equitable Rural Education" included descriptions of the "Literacy Mornings" and "Cultural Evenings," now held twice a year, and parent and student testimonials about the benefits of these activities.