Reyna Grande — novelist, writer, educator, immigrant
Claudia Lyra Giannecchini

Claudia, you bring up several very important key points. One of which, is regarding immigrant students and their families having “mixed feelings between the glory of being able to live the American dream and the sadness of being away from home”. I often contemplate this dilemma while witnessing the many struggles of my immigrant students’ families.

For example, last year I had a student who moved mid-year to live with his aunt in Colorado because his parents couldn’t afford living in the United States any longer. Due to this unfortunate circumstance, my student’s parents returned to Mexico with his two younger siblings. He was enraged and terribly conflicted about “being left behind” in America. I tried to help him understand the great sacrifice his parents were making in order for him to have an American education. However, my student had great difficulty accepting his move to Colorado. His story is just one of many traumatic circumstances our immigrant families face in pursuing the “American Dream”.

The second key point you addressed is the fabulous idea of sending teachers and leaders to professional development programs in third world countries. What a difference we could make if teachers of immigrant students could have this opportunity. If you ever create such a program, please consider me. I’ll happily join your quest!

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