Pajaro Valley Schools Collaborate on Illustrated and Animated Book
Terrorizing Tacos, Immigration, Poems, and Movies
By Elaine Ingalls
Manuel Madrigal, an eighth grader at Alianza Charter School, brought tacos to life in his play, “The Terrorizing Tacos.”
“I was thinking of a game I could play with my friends,” said Madrigal, a Prunedale resident. “They (the tacos) like attacking people and you have to try to escape from them.”
Madrigal, a student in Amparo Yodar-Jiménez’s Spanish Language Arts class, worked with the other students in the class to create a collaborative literature and art project. The project consists of 18 pieces: five theatrical acts and 13 poems. Students originally wrote their pieces in Spanish, then translated them to English. The theatrical pieces were illustrated by first, second and third grade students from Lucia Herrera’s art class at Amesti Elementary School. Sev- enth and eighth grade students from Patricia Sotarello’s art class at Cesar Chavez Middle School illustrated the poems. Herrera said she also used animation to illustrate stories.
The classes presented their bilin- gual book “Tus Palabras /Your Drawings”at the Alianza Charter School, Amesti Elementary School and Cesar Chavez Middle School Collaborative Literature & Art show on May 30 at Plaza Vigil in Watsonville.
“I had an idea of mixing art with literature,” Herrera said. “I knew her (Yodar-Jimenez) and knew she could compliment what I was thinking.”
Herrera said they started planning for the project back in September. Funding came from School Plus Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, New Tidings Foundation, Amesti Home & School Club, Walt Disney Family Museum, Pajaro Valley Unified School District and Pájaro Community Development Corporation.
The three teachers received cameras, multi-plane classroom kits and training from Antonia Dapena-Tretter, the school and outreach manager from the Walt Disney family museum. According to the museum, the multiplane camera gives depth to two-dimensional animated films by shooting multiple levels of cels and backgrounds at the same time.
Madrigal said the bilingual book was good so that they could have a larger audience.
“It’s a good opportunity to show what students are capable of at this age,” he said.
Alfredo Vazquez, an eighth grader from Hollister, said his favorite part of the project was sharing it with other people.
Vazquez’s poem, “Riesgo Orde- nado,” translated to “Ordered Risk,” is about a person that immigrated from South America and left behind people and things he adored to go to a new place.
“He had no choice,” Vazquez said. He had to do this to look for a better future in a way.”
Vazquez said Ricardo Arjona’s song “Mojado” inspired him to write the poem.
The interactive book includes Qr codes that allow readers to listen to the students recite their poems or theatrical acts and watch two animated movies.
Each student, Pajaro Valley Unified School District school libraries and Watsonville Public Libraries will receive free copies of the book.