Saturday, December 29, 2012

Theodore Roosevelt and ALMas

It was Theodore Roosevelt, my favorite President, who said,

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

And also,

"Anyone can give up; it's the easiest thing in the world to do.  but to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength."

Thank you T.R., for always giving me that slap in the face to get back to work.

I finished the book.  And now it's time to manage myself and GET WORK DONE to help kids achieve their potential.

I'm in the library for the next 7 days in Texas before heading back home.

This is my to-do list for today:

1.  Create "topics to cover"
-add in summarized material 
of what I've read (synthesis)
2.  Create "need to know" 
information document for
all members to know
3.  Background research on HeadStart schools

My to-do list for the week:


UPDATE 12/29/2012 at 3:36 PM:
I finished my to-do list!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What I'm Reading Right Now

I'm reading this right now to help guide our curriculum development and lesson planning:

Understanding the Language Development and Early Education of Hispanic Children

by Eugene E Garcia and Erminda H Garcia

I've learned quite a bit so far.  And I'll be posting some startling statistics and lessons learned.

Here's the first one:

"In the 0 to 8 age group in 2000, almost 46% of the Hispanic children had mothers who had not graduated from high school, while this was the case for only 9% of White [children 0 to 8]."

And ever more scary:

"Twenty percent of Hispanic children had mothers who had not gone beyond the 8th grade compared to 1%" of White children.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

This Blog's Dedication

Hi All!

This blog started out as my own personal one (and all posts before this one come imported from it).

But I soon realized that when I embarked upon a new journey in my life, I thought I could share it with the world.  So I am.  The journey to create ALMas.

I will now devote this blog to the step-by-step developments on how my team and I develop and create ALMas, an afterschool program dedicated to reducing the achievement gap between Latino students and their white peers by providing extra literacy instruction to preschool ESL latino children.  All run by college students.

This is the journey.

My team and I, we move together to something bigger than just me.  But something great.


I hope you all follow along and learn something.  We will be learning quite a bit.

Thank you,
Marvin Espinoza

Thursday, December 13, 2012

First ALMas Executive Board Meeting

Today was the first meeting of ALMas' FIRST Executive Board.

Can you believe this?

An idea that began only as a thought 6 months has official documentation, a leadership team of volunteers, and we're starting to create lesson plans and going through as much research literature to build our curriculum and class strategy.

This is the group:

Board Member
Marina E. Castro
Marvin Espinoza
Cristina Ochoa
Director of Communication/Relations
Melissa Marquez
Director of Social Media & Outreach
Vidal Anguiano
Director of Volunteer Involvement
Joshua Saucedo
Daniel Ramirez
Director of Operations
Spencer Claxton
Research Committee
Joseline Gomez
Research Committee
Christian Sanchez


When I led our first meeting, I was blown away by the genuine excitement among this group of loving people.  Who want to do good.

Who want to be led to do something good.

Who trust and believe in me to lead them to that good.

I'm scared as hell of failing them.  Of being revealed to be a fraud.

But I'm too far into it now to back away.  Because they need me to work.

And I'm going to work.

Winter Break Plans:

1.  2-3 hours of exercise per day
3.  ALMas research and weekly meetings--construct lesson plans
4.  Read "Theodore Rex" by Edmund Morris
5.  Watch a lot of T.V.

And ultimately:

Enter winter quarter fresh, strong, and good.