What do Water, Africa, and the Role of Women have to do With the Paris Marathon?



At the Paris Marathon last Sunday, Siabatou Sanneh of Gambia stood out from the other racers — in addition to her race number, she wore traditional Gambian garb and carried 45 pounds of water on her head. Sanneh, who had never left her home country before, participated in the marathon as part of an effort to raise awareness of the difficulties African women face in accessing clean water. While she walked the race, she also wore a sign that read: “In Africa, women travel this distance everyday to get potable water. Help us shorten the distance.”

Sanneh, a mother of four, lives in a small village of 300 people and started carrying water when she was five years old. Now, she and two of her daughters, 12-year-old Nyima and 20-year-old Mamina, carry water together: “I wake up in the morning, and go and collect water from a well. I have to walk 8 km (5 miles) there and back. I do this three times a day at least.” Each woman carries over 40 pounds of water on the return trip, wearing flip flops and often walking in extreme heat.

Sanneh was walking on behalf of Water For Africa, a charitable organization that’s working to draw attention for the need for bore-dug wells with water pumps, rather than the hand-dug wells that are common there. In Sanneh’s home country, Water For Africa estimates 200 to 300 water pumps would supply the needs of the whole population — an urgent need, since 40 to 60 percent of the current wells and pumping systems are deteriorating. Sanneh says, “I want them to help us dig bore holes, a sustainable water source, but not only more holes, I want more sustainable ones too. That’s all we need.”

While she couldn’t walk the full length of the marathon because “it was too long and the container on my head was too heavy,” Sanneh still captured the attention of people around the world. She’s pleased that her efforts have helped draw attention to the need for greater action to improve water access. For Sanneh, it would be a dream come true: “I don’t want my children and their children to be collecting water from the well when they are my age.”

To help support the building of boreholes in Gambia, visithttp://themarathonwalker.com/, or learn more about Water for Africa athttp://www.waterforafrica.org.uk/.

An excellent novel that explores how the lack of access to potable water affects girls’ lives is “A Long Walk To Water,” for ages 9 to 14 at http://www.amightygirl.com/a-long-walk-to-water

For two stories set in Africa which show how small changes can transform lives, check out “Beatrice’s Goat” for ages 4 to 8 (http://www.amightygirl.com/beatrice-s-goat) and “Mimi’s Village: And How Basic Health Care Transformed It” for ages 6 to 9 (http://www.amightygirl.com/mimi-s-village).

For more stories about the challenges faced by girls and women living in poverty, visit our “Poverty & Hardship” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/b…/social-issues/poverty-hardship

And, for more true stories of inspiring girls and women who worked to change the world, visit our “Activist” section in Biographies athttp://www.amightygirl.com/boo…/history-biography/biography…

USA Immigration Metaphor: Melting Pot? Salad Bowl? Mosaic?


Which image comes to your mind and what does it mean?  What is the fiber of USA immigration as perceived by Americans?   My opinion: To me as an immigrant, the metaphor of a melting pot means that I need to lose my old “self”, am deconstructed, and made into something else by the force of fire.  I prefer the salad bowl analogy because it indicates that all ingredients create a new flavor with each other that is good.  

Conference in Spain


Dear colleagues,
We would really appreciate it if you could help us disseminate the following information:

Registration is now open for the I International Colloquium on Languages and Cultures in School and Society, to be held in Soria, Spain, July 1-3, 2015.  The deadline for early registration is May 30th, 2015.
The Colloquium is organized by the School of Education, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, and will revolve around the following topics:
– Individual, school and societal bilingualism/multilingualism
– Multi/Inter/Transculturalism in families, schools, and society
– Impact of bi/multilingualism on language, culture, & identity
– Impact of multi/inter/transculturalism on language, culture, & identity
– Use of students’ native languages in the classroom
– Promotion of minority languages
– Bilingual and immersion programs
– Impact of immigration on families
– Ethnic and cultural identity issues
– Ethnic and cultural differences between teachers and students
– Other topics considered pertinent by the Organizing Committee
Presenters represent universities from Brasil (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Universidade Pontificia Catolica de Sao Paulo), Mexico (Universidad Iberoamericana de Puebla), Canada (Universidad de Manitoba), EE.UU. (New Mexico State University, Arizona State University) and Spain (Universidad de Burgos and Universidad de La Rioja).
The attached files contain program and general information about the Colloquium. You can also visitwww.languagecultureidentity.com, or email Francisco Ramos at framos@lmu.edu, or Isabel Sanz at isasanzji@gmail.com

Estimados colegas:
Os agradeceríamos nos ayudárais a diseminar la siguiente información:

Ya está abierto el plazo de inscripción para el I Coloquio Internacional sobre Lenguas y Culturas en la Escuela y la Sociedad, que se celebrará en Soria, España, del 1 al 3 de julio de 2015. La fecha tope de inscripción es el 30 de mayo de 2015.
El Coloquio está organizado por la Escuela de Educación de Loyola Marymount University, Los Ángeles, California, y girará alrededor de los siguientes temas:
–     Bilingüismo/Multilingüismo individual, en la escuela y en la sociedad
–     Multi/Inter/Transculturalismo en familias,  escuela, y sociedad
–       Impacto del bi/multilingüismo sobre lengua, cultura, e identidad
–       Impacto del multi/inter/transculturalismo sobre lengua, cultura e identidad
–       Uso de los idiomas nativos de los alumnos en el aula
–       Promoción de lenguas minoritarias
–       Programas educativos bilingües y de inmersión
–       Impacto de la inmigración en las familias
–       Identidad étnica y cultural
–       Diferencias étnicas y culturales entre alumnos y maestros
–       Otros temas considerados pertinentes por el Comité Organizador.
Los ponentes proceden de, entre otras instituciones, universidades de Brasil (Universidade Federal Fluminense y Universidade Pontificia Catolica de Sao Paulo), México (Universidad Iberoamericana de Puebla), Canadá (Universidad de Manitoba), EE.UU. (New Mexico State University y Arizona State University) y España (Universidad de Burgos y Universidad de La Rioja).
Los ficheros adjuntos contienen el programa e información general sobre el Coloquio. Para más información, se puede visitarwww.languagecultureidentity.com, o enviar un mensaje a Francisco Ramos: framos@lmu.edu, or Isabel Sanz: isasanzji@gmail.com

Francisco Ramos, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
School of Education
Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive, suite 2649
Los Angeles CA 90045
Phone#: 310/338-4515
e-mail: framos@lmu.edu
Fax#: 310/338-1976
e-fax: 303/479-8327

International TESOL Events



How About a Spanish-Language Spelling Bee?


One state started it already.  Read more in “Local students compete in first Spanish spelling bee” http://www.standard.net/Education/2015/04/15/spanish-spelling-bee.html

News From National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition


White House Task Force on New Americans Releases Strategic Action Plan
On Tuesday, April 14, the White House Task Force on New Americans released its report to the President on a federal strategic action plan for the integration of New Americans. The work of the U.S. Department of Education is highlighted in the sections on Linguistic Integration. A new website page on New Americans (also available in Spanish) has been launched, and includes a link to the comprehensive report; a call to action to volunteer to create more welcoming communities; a tool for individuals to share their own stories; and links to resources for all Americans to connect with their own immigrant heritages. Feel free to share these resources and materials with stakeholders. You can also follow and join the conversation via social media at #NewAmericans and #NuevosCiudadanos.

Whitepaper on Formative Assessment



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 797 other followers

%d bloggers like this: