ASK: Harvesting Hope

Today we piloted an ASK program on the book Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez. Students read the book, journalled, and prepared quality questions following the ASK process. Then they interviewed a panel of former migrant workers at the Region 20 Education Service Center in San Antonio, Texas. We had local classes here and from Region 20 participate in the ASK program. A special thank you to Susan Altgelt and the bridging team at Region 20 for making this happen!

We had a wonderful discussion. Here is a sampling of some of the students’ questions:

  • Describe your feelings about Cesar Chavez.
  • How much do migrant workers make today?
  • Have you had to deal with a drought and if so, what did you do?
  • Describe the conditions at the camp where you worked and how long was your work day?
  • Did you or a member of your family witness abuse or death?
  • How have conditions changed since Chavez’s time? Is there someone who has stepped into Chavez’s shoes to lead migrant workers?
  • What was a typical day like for you when working as a migrant worker?
  • Why were some groups treated better than Mexicans?
  • Are migrant workers only in America? And do other countries use migrant workers? Do you think technology will replace migrant workers?

Sometimes little glitches come along the way. Today it was a fire drill at Region 20 ESC half way through the program. So while we were waiting for the panel members to return, we did a round robin sharing. Students shared what they liked about the book, and then students shared experiences they had had similar to what they read in the book, or other historical events they knew of that were similar to what they read in the book.

Even with the little interruption, it was a wonderful program. Students understand better the experiences of migrant workers and have a broader understanding of the civil rights movement.

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