2 schools Mexican institute join to form learning center
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
By Carmen Duarte
Two Sunnyside Unified School District
schools have received a state grant to form a
community learning center in conjunction with
an educational institute in Mexico.
The center opens Feb. 17 at Drexel Elementary
School, 801 E. Drexel Road, and is aimed at
increasing the use of computers among
Spanish-speaking parents of Drexel and
Summit View elementary school students.
Principals Lorena Escárcega of Drexel and
Roxana Sanders of Summit View, 1900 E.
Summit St., were awarded a $25,000 grant each
year for three years that will provide supplies for the center and a tutor and
Twenty-five parents have signed up for the
program, which includes four-month online
courses through the Institute of Superior
Technological Studies of Monterrey, said
Christina Hernandez, a technology teacher at
Drexel who will coordinate the center's
program in the school's computer lab.
Escárcega said the program also aims to get
parents involved in their children's learning,
and for parents to think about taking college
The institute will offer free general-studies
courses online; students seeking degrees
must pay for classes, Hernandez said.
Anna Ochoa O'Leary, an adjunct lecturer at
the University of Arizona Mexican-American
Studies and Research Center, said the institute
is a private university formed by businessmen that has a reputation in Mexico
similar to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's reputation in the United
O'Leary sits on the board of Fundacion Mexico, a local nonprofit organization
that promotes culture, history and language of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. She
said the group is a liaison for the institute and the new community learning
There are 59 centers in the United States - 50 in Texas. Arizona State
Rio Salado Community College in the Phoenix area are working to open centers,
O'Leary said. She said students interested in international studies or working
Mexico could earn degrees from the institute through online courses.