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On Fronteras: College Help For Immigrant Children, Arabic Magnet School Opens, Hurricane Katrina

Houston Public Media
Veteran HISD teacher Imene Mechkene leads the Arabic class for kindergarteners. Students in the magnet campus come from many different parts of Houston and reflect the city's diversity.

This week on Fronteras: 

On Fronteras: College Help For Immigrant Children, Arabic Magnet School Opens, Hurricane Katrina

--Help to reduce the soaring Hispanic high school dropout rate.  How an after school program in San Diego guides children of immigrants to college with great success.

--In San Antonio, a new school opens to help another set of students who need it… boys.

--Prairie View honors Sandra Bland, the young woman found hanged in the Waller County Jail, with a street in her name.

--San Diego County launches a disaster app for Spanish speakers so they easily can get information on emergencies such as fires and earthquakes.

--Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, transplanted Louisianans who lived through the horrific storm remember its devastation.

Program Helps Immigrant Children Go To College

Hispanic high school students have the highest dropout rates in the country but more of them are graduating as educators change their approach.

One of those approaches starts preparing children for college even before they reach puberty.   KPBS Fronteras reporter Jean Guerrero explains how a successful San Diego college-prep program for low-income, mostly Mexican immigrant families, is making the grade as it tries to meet rising demand for its services.  


Arabic Magnet School Opens In Houston

A new school year often means change and in Houston, changing demographics prompted the opening of a new Arabic language magnet school.  But some residents believe the school is fueling propaganda.  As the campus opened, Houston Public Media’s Laura Isensee reports a handful of protesters stood outside, waving American flags and holding anti-Arab signs, on the school’s first day. 


San Antonio School Focuses On Teaching Boys

Back in San Antonio, another special school opened, this one targeting boys.  Trends show some young men lose interest in school early.  That’s prompted the school district to bring boys together for a new experience in an effort to keep them engaged before the urge to drop out arises.  This week, Bexar County’s only all-male public school opened its doors for the first time with students as young as fourth grade.  http://tpr.org/post/saisd-opens-first-public-all-boys-school-bexar-county

Prairie View Street Named After Sandra Bland

Turning now to Prairie View, Texas where officials voted Tuesday to rename a major street after Sandra Bland.  Houston Public Media’s Syeda Hasan reports on the decision to honor the woman who died in the Waller County Jail after police arrested her during a traffic stop last month.  http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/news/prairie-view-city-council-votes-to-rename-street-as-sandra-bland-parkway/

San Diego Launches Spanish Disaster App

When a disaster happens, it’s important for everyone to get timely information they can understand. Now Spanish speakers in San Diego can receive live emergency notifications in their native language. The county there recently launched Spanish versions of its emergency app and website that stream information about ongoing emergencies such as fires, floods and earthquakes. They also include survival guides on how to prepare for and recover from those disasters.

It’s estimated about 350,000 San Diego County residents speak on;y Spanish.  The app is called S-D-Emergency, with an option to view in English or Spanish. The web site is ListoSanDiego.org which means “Ready San Diego.”


 Hurricane Katrina 10 Years Later:  Storm Brought Couple Together

After Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans on August 29th ten years ago, many Louisianans escaped to Texas.  And, many did not return.  They stayed and made Texas their new home.  KERA’s Bill Zeeble introduces us to a couple born and raised in the Greater New Orleans area, just two blocks from the Lower 9th Ward.  The pair didn’t find each other until after they lost much in the deadly, devastating storm and moved west, to the North Texas area.


Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules