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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Making Children Aware Of Their Cultures
Program #
Culture, Identity

Social Issues
Linda Fregoso
Ellen Treviño
Feb 9, 1980

Making Children Aware of Their Cultures

Ellen L. Treviño, program director for the Nueces County Social Cultural Intervention Program discuses her work with children from the barrios of Corpus Christi. The program uses recreation and art to help children in minority or low-income communities build awareness of their culture, their community and their own value. Treviño explains that many children in the barrios think that they cannot keep up with other kids and she believes that low self-esteem stems from a general cultural alienation. Moreover, schools have unconsciously exacerbated the problem by stigmatizing Spanish and making children feel more insecure about their communication skills.

To help build their self-esteem and prevent social and behavioral problems, the program offers free cultural and recreational activities, like soccer and dance, which require children to interact with one another in a positive and egalitarian setting. The staff accepts the children as they are and treats them as friends. Treviño has seen kids who participate in the program raise their grades and participate more in school. She has also seen the positive effects on parents who get more involved in the program and their children’s activities.

The program regularly screens the participants to detect any behavioral, social or academic problems and then seeks to address those problems privately with the children in special sessions. If professional help is needed, they turn to their contacts in the community and county for assistance.


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