National Compadres Network has introduced Transformational Learning (TL) to the Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD). Transformational Learning is based on “La Cultura Cura” (LCC) (Transformational Health & Healing) philosophy. TL invites administrators and educators into a healing-centered, culturally rooted, justice-oriented teaching and learning experience. TL examines a school district’s approach, ideology, and pedagogy to teaching and instruction and identifies areas for improvement while developing strategic steps toward a more equitable and supportive school system through ongoing technical assistance.
The framework of TL creates spaces where:
- All are welcome and are blessings. Each person is important and feels a sense of welcoming, wantedness, and belonging throughout learning spaces.
- All have a sacred purpose. Teaching and learning are personalized and collectivized, uncovering and deepening individual and collective gifts, talents, and assets.
- All have cultural values that can guide you through life. Culture is our connection-making schema making learning most accessible when it centers on the material conditions, histories, and lived experiences of community members where the learning is taking place.
- All are interconnected and need spaces to grow, learn, share, heal, and support each other. Safe and courageous spaces are established for deep learning, growing, healing, and supporting each other, all nurtured through a profound connection to the land, people, and ancestors.
Coachella Valley Unified School District
CVUSD has made commendable strides in creating a positive and supportive school climate through its collaboration with NCN. The district has prioritized the philosophy of "La Cultura Cura", an approach that emphasizes culturally appropriate, trauma-informed, and healing-centered practices to ensure the well-being of students, staff, and parents.
The district-wide trainings provided by NCN to all 22 schools and their certificated and classified staff demonstrates a commitment to fostering a healthy and inclusive learning environment. By introducing the LCC philosophy, educators and school personnel are better equipped to understand and address the diverse needs of their students, especially those who may have experienced trauma or face cultural challenges.
The NCN-led trainings have been instrumental in equipping CVUSD with effective tools and strategies:
- The Joven Noble (Noble Youth) curriculum training promotes character development and rites of passage for youth. It is a comprehensive healing-centered, indigenous based, youth leadership development program that supports and guides youth through their initial step of a “rites of passage” process while focusing on the prevention of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, relationship violence, gang violence, and school failure.
- Additionally, the “Cara y Corazon” (Face & Heart) curriculum training supports and strengthens parent engagement. By involving parents through a school-based effort, the school district aims to create a stronger support network and bridge the gap between home and school environments.
- Moreover, the “Raising Children with Pride “curriculum training, centered on fatherhood, promotes father involvement with an emphasis on positive role models and parental involvement. Empowering fathers and father figures to actively participate and be involved in their children's lives and education, fosters a sense of pride and commitment to their children's success.
- Finally, the “Extended Kinship Mentorship Capacity-Building” training is set to be launched throughout 2024, further demonstrating the school district’s commitment to the growth and development of both students and staff. This program will likely strengthen relationships, foster positive mentorship connections, and build a stronger sense of community within the district.
The ongoing engaging efforts with the CVUSD’s Culture and Climate committee meetings confirms the district's commitment to creating an equitable and supportive school system for years to come.
Impact of NCN on CVUSD
The various trainings offered by the National Compadres Network are instrumental in supporting students and their families while creating a positive school climate that embraces cultural strengths. These trainings empower educators to be more culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and equipped to address the diverse needs of their students. By fostering a nurturing and inclusive learning environment, the school district maximizes the potential of all students and creates a sense of belonging that encourages academic success and personal growth.
We believe that all children are a blessing, have a sacred purpose, bring with them cultural values, and deserve a space to grow, learn, share, heal, and support each other.