California Educator

April 2014

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editor's Note Never too old to learn from The Grapes of Wrath For new generations, the wrath continues. The classic book and its themes about the dispossessed, income inequality, social injustice and the value of family solidar- ity have inspired readers from the Great D e p r e s s i o n t h r o u g h t h e r e c e n t G r e a t Recession, keeping The Grapes of Wrath as relevant today in California classrooms and living rooms as it was 75 years ago. The book won the Pulitzer Prize, and Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Lit- e r a t u r e i n 1 9 6 2 . We s p o ke w i t h a f e w members about why they think teaching The Grapes of Wrath is so important. English teacher Daniel Reynolds, who teaches the book to high school juniors in Walnut Creek, says, "The Grapes of Wrath is relevant to students today because the struggles of the Joad family, and of all the families dispossessed by the Depression, a re t h e s t r u g g l e s o f m i l l i o n s o f p e o p l e today. Steinbeck reminds us that people want to work, they want an education for their kids, and ultimately they want all these same things for everyone else, too." You can find a review and resources at Reynolds' comment sounded so much like my friend Séamus as he described the trauma of living in the U.S. illegally for a year. Family, moral and medical problems dictated he stay; quotas and bureaucratic r e d t a p e m a d e t h e s t a y i n g d i f f i c u l t . I thought of him again as I read about five C a l i f o r n i a D R E A M e rs , u n d o c u m e n te d students who are earning an education, h e l p i n g t o p r ov i d e f o r t h e i r f a m i l i e s , As we go to press CTA is celebrating the 75th anniversary of one of my favorite books, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Like many of you, I highly recommend it. This type of book reminds me how teachers are promoting quality books with strong instructional value through CTA's California Reads program of teacher-recommended books for students of all ages. See the latest recommendations on page 48. working toward citizenship, and hoping that legislators will make the path easier ( p a ge 2 2 ) . H e l p i n g t h e s e s t u d e n t s f u l - fill their personal and academic dreams w h i l e n a v i g a t i n g t h e c o m p l e x w e b o f re l a t e d s t a t e a n d f e d e r a l l aw s a re CTA m e m b e r s f r o m S a n t a A n a , S a n D i e go , Los Angeles, Mission Viejo, Salinas and CSU Northridge. S é a m u s n o w l i v e s i n I r e l a n d , a n d frankly, in my limited Midwestern experi- ence, his story was the first time I heard immigration status or deportation con- c e r n s c o n n e c t e d t o a nyo n e o t h e r t h a n those who live south of the border. This issue of the magazine highlights educators and their community involve- ment. For example, in Imperial County, CTA members sponsored an event con- necting a local artist, students and their parents (page 15). You'll see tips on how to plan events like this and a recap of Read Across America (page 49). That event was so much fun this year, wasn't it? S e e t h a t ? I ' m b a c k to re a d i n g a ga i n . Please know that I read the stories and comments you send me, and when I can, I share them here in the magazine and with others within the CTA family. I invite you to share what you read by visiting us at and looking for the social media tools accompanying each article. Cynthia Menzel E D I T O R I N C H I E F A R E Y O U T R A V E L I N G or volunteering this summer? We thought so, because educators are everywhere. We thought it might be fun to take your Educator along. Yes, we mean your CTA magazine. Take a photo of yourself, with your magazine, between now and July 21. You may win school supplies! Yes, we're offering prizes! Three $50 gift cards for school supplies. So… 1) Take a selfie with you and your favorite Educator magazine at an inter- esting or fun location. 2) Email your selfie and a brief de- scription of what we're seeing, with your name, local chapter and current email address, to See the example? That's my lovely daughter, Casey, holding the Educator at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas. (The site is the former Montgomery Elementary School, one of the schools named in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court desegre- gation decision.) Entries will be accepted through July 21, 2014. All entries submitted will be reviewed. Committee members will consider creativity, location, distance, celebrity sightings, etc. Have fun on your summer travels. PHOTO CONTEST EDUCATORS ARE EVERYWHERE! So, bring us along this summer, send a selfi e, and win school supplies! 8 A P R I L 2 0 1 4 Educator 04 Apr 2014 v2.5 int.indd 8 4/15/14 2:21 PM

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