Educating Maria

On L.A.'s Skid Row, a generational war over how to teach the American children of illegal immigrants

Salinas has big plans — to study to be a doctor or teacher at USC. But he knows he can't accomplish this without a quality education. "I need a good school," Salinas says, "where I'm learning something every day."

Callaghan, who stands only a few feet away, smiles at what she hears. "Our experience is that when our children are offered the same education as their affluent peers, they can achieve in school," she says. "The real hope for the Latino community, and anyone in this country, is a good education."

"They don't want their kids selling tamales. They want college." — The Rev. Alice Callaghan, Jardin de la Infancia
Ted Soqui
"They don't want their kids selling tamales. They want college." — The Rev. Alice Callaghan, Jardin de la Infancia
First-grade teacher Elizabeth Chavez at the whiteboard with Leslie Alvarez in the all-English class.
Ted Soqui
First-grade teacher Elizabeth Chavez at the whiteboard with Leslie Alvarez in the all-English class.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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