The bell rang, but Jose Zamarripa was ignoring it.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t interested in making it to class on time. But this was back-to-school night at Manteca High. As the President of Ballet Folklorico De La Rosa, Zamarripa and the rest of the members had a fun yet important job to do – promote the cultural growth that the club strives to bolster, and push frozen mango pops that he knew were going to be a hit.
It wasn’t a bad way to spend an evening.
But for the son of Mexican immigrants, Zamarripa said that his involvement has given him a better understanding of the culture and the tradition of his roots. He looks forward to the opportunity to share that with other students that might be searching for the same thing.
“I like to learn about where I came from and what my parents went through and what things were like for them when they were young,” he said. “I like the tradition. And I just like to dance, and that’s a really big of it, so that helps out.”
Beside him was a packed quad that was busy watching the Manteca High School cheerleaders perform.
In a sense, it seemed like any other between-class session at Manteca High. People milled about, and people talked, and people laughed and people joked. But it cleared out rather quickly when the first bell rang, and people flooded into classrooms.
English teacher Roger Knauss used his time with the parents to outline the game plan he has to get students excited about reading the authors that contributed so heavily to the world and learning how to find their own voice on paper.
Samples of the work that some of his students have already done thus far (the school year started mid-August) were stapled up on the back wall, and Knauss said that they’ll have the option to pick pieces that they feel are better and post them as their best work at that point in time.
And Knauss said he looks forward to nights like Wednesday when he gets to chance to meet parents and get to go over the work that their children have done.
“It’s a chance to communicate a few things to them, and it’s important to have that kind of involvement,” Knauss said. “I get the chance to see the kids that are going to be successful because the parents that come to these events are the movers and the shakers and they’re heavily involved.”