Encuentros Middle School Class- Classroom education program that is taught at the Vista Unified School District middle schools. The class has a curriculum targeting Latino boys utilizing the textbook Encuentros: Hombre a Hombre.
One of the issues with Latinos and education that is of importance is that educational systems are not set up to embrace the Latino culture and heritage. They do not acknowledge or honor the unique cultural heritage and distinct ways of knowing about the world of a Latino. It can be argued that schools instill policies and practices that are designed to divest Latino students of their culture and language. This can be detrimental and subtractive for the academic progress of Latinos.
In order to help Latinos become engaged in school, it is often necessary to introduce and work with a culturally relevant curriculum that is designed to help students increase their literacy, take pride in their culture, and become more engaged in the schooling process. The Encuentros curriculum is research based and follows best practices for adolescent dual language learners to acquire academic literacy rapidly, effectively, and efficiently. The program aims to offer a healthy learning environment that highlights the importance of culture, self-respect, building positive relationships and improve academic skills. The curriculum that was developed for this program follows the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) English Language Arts and covers three major topics. Who are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? It is based on the book, Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul, and 8 literature books.