Odd Life – Family Gardening in San Antonio

2 Aug

Being outdoors and going to the movies are two of our favorite activities! Getting to do it with friends in San Antonio … ¡Increible!

We are happy to be joining our amigos at Family Love in My City for a special Family Day of Gardening in San Antonio.

Come our and join us Saturday, August 4th from 9am – 12pm at San Pedro Park.

Families will give our community some tender love and care by planting and gardening at a local San Antonio Park. For participants, we will have a limited number of tickets to the advance screening of Disney’s movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green, starring Jennifer Garner. She plays a wife who becomes a mom after her and her husband find Timothy at their doorstep on a stormy night. They had only been able to dream of who their child would be and in the journey with Timothy, they learn that the unexpected can bring life’s greatest gifts. (Disney)

The advance screening will be Monday night, August 13th at 7pm at Regal Cielo Vista. Come garden and get your tickets to this family fun movie. One last hoo-rah with the kiddos before school starts!

My Reasons for Raising Bilingual Boys

27 Jul

If you have read my Story of Qué, you know that I did not grow up speaking Spanish and I’m still not proficient today. Even though I have studied Spanish in college, have studied abroad in Spain and have taken adult learning Spanish classes, nothing has motivated me to learn more than wanting my children to know Spanish.

When I was growing up, if my parents didn’t want us to know what they were discussing, they would switch to Spanish. Ugh! (My parents didn’t teach us Spanish because when they used it in school, they were shamed or punished.) Admittedly, I use the little Spanish I know and communicate with my husband when I don’t want my son to know what I am saying.  It’s not very fair or nice, yo sé, pero here’s what I have learned: my son didn’t want to learn UNTIL he heard me speak Spanish at home … consistently. Entonces hablo Español en la casa con frecuencia.

Two friends of mine have their children in a local Dual Language Program through their school. I asked them why did they choose to enroll their children in this program. Here are their answers:

“Our decision to enroll our children in a Spanish dual program is very much based on wanting them to have deep roots in their Hispanic heritage coupled with the advantages that being bilingual will present in their future,” says Michelle Hernandez with Family Love in my City.

Colleen Pence from San Antonio Mom Blogs shares, “As our daughter grows into adulthood, speaking a second language will make her more marketable in whatever career or path she chooses. She is very proud of her Spanish speaking abilities and, as parents (and non-Spanish speakers), it’s exciting to watch her language development grow.”

It’s encouraging to have friends who also are not fluent in Spanish but share the desire for our children to learn Spanish. For all the reasons above and all the reasons in the infographic below, we want our boys to learn Spanish. There’s also something in the learning process that makes me want them to learn. Parents, do you remember the feeling you had when you heard your child’s first words? Well, I get to experience that doubly as our son learns Spanish. My heart smiles when I hear him use a Spanish phrase without being prompted like “Mami, te amo muchisimo!”

The school my son would attend does not have a dual language program. So it is up to my husband (who thankfully is bilingual) and I to create the environment for our boys to learn. There is another reason I want them to learn Spanish. For our family, it will be another experience we will get to create together. My husband is greatly involved too mostly because he says I sound like Peggy Hill from King of the Hill and he hopes that my boys won’t sound like that!

Next week, I will share the resources I use to teach my boys Spanish.

For now, enjoy this infographic from Spanglishbaby.com

Another First: San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists Gala

26 Jul

On July 20, 2012, I joined the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists at their 14th Annual Scholarship & Awards Gala which commemorated 25 years of the organization. The goal of SAAHJ is to help newsrooms better reflect the diverse population of Texas. The organization is comprised of local journalists, public relations professionals, students and others interested in the communications industry. (SAAHJ)

The event caught my attention when an online friend checked in on Foursquare and noted that she was at a planning meeting for the Gala. I thought to myself “that sounds like a great place to be.” … the Gala, not the planning meeting! I’m a professional in the communications industry (social media and public relations).  So, I asked how to attend the event, she encouraged me to get my ticket, I did and there I was. It turned out to be a fantastic night of inspiration, encouragement, friendship and fun.

Even when I wasn’t working in the communications field, I’ve always been drawn to it. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a reporter. As a young girl I would take my cassette tape recorder and record my own ‘news’ and then play it back just to hear myself ‘reporting’. (I’m pretty sure I have NEVER told anyone that I’ve ever done that.) I entered college pursuing journalism and completed my B.A. in Mass Communications (General Studies). Nonetheless, the SAAHJ Gala was an incredible time to meet so many Hispanic journalists, particularly las mujeres. Growing up in a small West Texas town, I don’t recall seeing any brown-skinned reporters or any with Latino surnames. However, at the Gala, there were plenty of San Antonio’s Latina journalists whom I have admired while watching the local news.

The organization honored KSAT-12’s Jessie Degollado with the Henry Guerra Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Journalism. Jessie’s reporting was described as trailblazing. In 1995, she received the award for best series from the Associated Press for “Chiapas Revolt – One Year Later.” In a tribute video, Jessie’s colleagues referred to her as the Energizer Bunny of KSAT-12, incredibly professional, genuinely interested in others, an icon in San Antonio, and one who has paved the way for Latinas and women in general. I am always moved to see someone being honored for their life work.

The other Latina journalists I had the honor to meet were the funny and beautiful News 4 WOAI Reporter Laurie Salazar; News 4 WOAI Anchorwoman Elsa Ramon, the Mistress of Ceremony and KSAT-12 News Anchorwoman Isis Romero. You can see all my photos on my Facebook page. Psst, I even got to meet Mayor Julian Castro! Yep, I get geeky about stuff like that.

The night also included honoring Father David Garcia with the SAAHJ Community Service Award. He is currently the director of the Old Spanish Missions of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and told the funniest joke about what happens to a Senator when he reaches the gates of heaven. (You’ll have to find me or him to tell you another time!) Father David challenged the group to not lose the value of their culture and reminded us that we’re all in this together.

SAAHJ awarded $25,000 in scholarships to local students pursuing degrees in communications. For a list of their names and more information, visit www.saahj.org.

The evening left me inspired and smiling. So, instead of recording on my cassette tapes, I will type on my keyboard and ‘report’ to my readers the stories from the desk of ¿Qué Means What? Thanks for reading y’all!

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