By Donna Jones
firstname.lastname@example.org @DonnaJonesSCS on Twitter
Freedom School kindergarten teacher Lola Martin-Atilano leads the school’s students in a rally commemorating Cesar Chavez on Friday, as she has done for the past 15 years. Ines Marines and Jose Martin were also honored as ‘living legends’ of the early United Farm Workers movement. (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Watsonville >> For the past 15 years, Freedom Elementary School has honored Cesar Chavez by recognizing one of its own teachers for performing an community service.
Friday, for the first time, the school reached into the community to honor Ines Marines and Jose Martin, field workers who were active in an historic lettuce strike led by the United Farm Workers in the Salinas and Pajaro valleys.
Also honored at the assembly was kindergarten teacher Lola Martin-Atilano, the daughter of Martin.
“At Freedom School, we know about Cesar Chavez and all the work he did for us,” said Principal Gloria Pulga, standing on a stage bedecked with handmade red and black UFW flags. “(Martin-Atilano) actually knew Cesar Chavez. She walked with Cesar Chavez. She is one of our role models here at Freedom Elementary School.”
Honored as one of the ‘living legends’ of the early United Farm Workers movement, Ines Marines tells Freedom School students Friday about his early days in the fields, working for a foreman he called ‘El Diablo.’ (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Nearly all Freedom’s students come from low-income, Latino families. Many parents work in the fields.
Martin-Atilano said she was a child when she marched alongside family members and Chavez, and at the time didn’t fully comprehend the significance of the actions.
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Freedom Elementary School honors UFW activists