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Integrating the Hispanic Youth Population of the Hill into the New Haven Community, by Nancy M. Esposito

Guide Entry to 89.01.01:

“Integrating the Hispanic Youth Population of the Hill into the New Haven Community” is a unit focusing on increasing students’ awareness of the community around them. I teach in the Roberto Clemente Middle School, which has a large percentage of Puerto Rican young people. It has become apparent to me that many of these children do not identify themselves as members of the New Haven community, so much as they identify themselves as members of the Puerto Rican community who happen to be in New Haven at the present time. This feeling is fostered by strong family ties with Puerto Rico, frequent and extended visits back to Puerto Rico, and parents whose strong sense of pride in their native Puerto Rico leads them to choose not to become involved in New Haven community affairs because they see themselves as visitors rather than community members.

In developing this unit I tried to involve children in a study of their community in the Hill section in New Haven, including the study of the many exceptional contributions New Haven Hispanics have made to this community. The unit encourages students to become involved members of the New Haven community. This unit involves a map study section and a brief history of the Hill to help students become more familiar with their city. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to become familiar with people like Dr. Antonio Perez, President of South Central Community College; Hill alderman Tomas Reyes, Jr.; Pura Delgado, who helped set up the Hill Health Center and Latino Youth Services; Rosa Quesada, a prominent New Haven school official; and leaders of organizations such as the League of United Latin Americans (LULAC) and the Junta for Progressive Action.

The main concepts covered in this unit are: a brief exploration of the concept of what a community is and why people live in communities; a discussion of the physical setup of the community in the Hill area of New Haven; a brief history of the Hill area; and a look at Hispanic adults who are actively involved in leading and further developing the New Haven community.

(Recommended for Community Living classes, grades 5-8)

Key Words

New Haven Puerto Rican Migration Connecticut Hispanic Population Integration Rico American Race Relations Communities

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