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middle school group on UW campusSeventh grade students in Spanish Language Arts class at Sherman and Cherokee middle schools had the opportunity to explore the UW campus on a recent visit to learn about the Argentine cartonera movement.

Nichole Von Haden and Kristen Scott, Bilingual Resource Teachers at Sherman Middle School and Cherokee Middle School, respectively, have been teaching their students about the important cartonera movement that originated in “La Boca,” a unique neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2003. Named after Eloisa Cartonera, a publishing house that strives to make books accessible for everyone by using cardboard and other recycled materials to produce books, this social justice movement has since expanded to several Latin American countries and even to Africa.

To enhance the learning experience, Nichole and Kristen took their students to a presentation at the UW-Madison and to view the impressive collection of cartonera books in their Special Collections section of the Memorial Library. UW-Madison is making huge strides to preserve these books and has a notable collection.

cartonera bookIn addition to learning a lot about the movement and the Argentine culture, the students enjoyed a fantastic walking tour of the UW campus. Nichole and Kristen emphasized on the trip: “We are really trying to get the kids thinking about attending university and about what they'll need to do to achieve that.” Encouraging the kids to start thinking about college, they sat in an actual college classroom and learned about exciting opportunities and admission requirements at the UW.

The tour also emphasized how advantageous it is to be bilingual in today’s world. By studying Spanish Language Arts in middle school, these students are acquiring and building their language skills at an early age which opens them up to a wealth of opportunities. Being proficient in both English and Spanish will open more doors to them in college and career both in the United States and abroad – as well as in international schools, corporations or organizations.