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Your Dose of Inspiration
Colombian intern Angela Guzman helped create Apple’s emojis back in 2008
Love using emojis? There’s a Latina to thank

It seems like lifetimes ago when the only way we could make facial expressions via text was with parentheses and colons. Now that it’s 2022, there is probably a lot of young folks who don’t even remember a time before emojis, not knowing just how lucky they are.

Emojis themselves have actually been around since the 1990s, thanks to Shigetaka Kurita, but they were popularized over the last decade following their integration in Apple’s beloved iPhones. But, while a lot of us just take all of our phone’s latest features at face value, there’s always someone behind the invention—and Apple’s emojis were largely created by a Latina.

Texas News
‘Unorthodox’ dual language program at SAISD high school produces first graduates
For Brackenridge High School senior Karla Castillo, participating in the dual language program helped her feel seen not only as a Mexican American but as a young woman.

Growing up, she primarily learned history through the lens of a white man. Classroom lessons and discussion excluded her culture and lacked representation of women’s roles in history. But all that changed after she enrolled in the San Antonio Independent School District’s first high school dual language program, where she took a Mexican American studies class.

Tornillo ISD superintendent voices needs for El Paso schools amid teacher shortage
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — Tornillo Independent School District Superintendent, Rosy Vega-Barrio, is taking on an additional role by joining the Teacher Vacancy Task Force created by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Vega-Barrio is the only representative from El Paso on the task force and will be the voice for school districts in the area.

On March 7, Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath with the goal of creating a task force to help school districts address ongoing staffing shortages across the state.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Austin ISD clash over Pride Week events
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has accused the Austin school district of breaking state law with Pride Week activities that he characterized as attempts to indoctrinate students with liberal attitudes on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Liberal school districts are aggressively pushing LGBTQ+ views on Texas Kids!” Paxton said Tuesday night on Twitter, where he announced his campaign against the district’s “immoral and illegal” Pride Week celebration, which began Monday.

Austin school officials fired back, accusing Paxton of launching a misguided attack designed to score political points at the expense of students.

First of summits to help empower Latinx community kicks off at UTSA
The Biden Administration events over the next few months hope to drive economic change and education opportunities.

As various sectors have begun to rebound two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Latinx community continues to feel the pinch of job losses, health disparities, economic impacts and a downturn in education opportunities.

Their plight has rippled from school districts to businesses on up to colleges and universities, where Latinx students comprise 20% of institution populations but have sustained more losses in terms of enrollment and transfer mobility than White students. There also remain very few Latina and Hispanic women at the top of higher education.

This Trans Teen Says Gender-Affirming Care Saved His Life. How a Texas Order Equating Such Therapy to Child Abuse Could Inflame the Youth Suicide Crisis
Hunter, a 17-year-old from suburban Houston, was so nervous his aching stomach prevented him from falling asleep. So after practicing in front of a mirror over and again, he overcame crippling anxiety and told his parents a secret he’d kept hidden for years.

He came out as transgender, a revelation that was met with violent rejection. His mother hit him in the face, he said, while his brother’s reaction cut like a knife: No matter what, he told Hunter, he would never be a boy. With his worst fears validated, Hunter, who was 12 at the time, grabbed a razor blade and slit his wrist. 

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National News
Black Girls are Graduating at a Higher Rate Than Any Other Demographic in Memphis Schools. Here’s Why
Before Winter Shields was born, she faced an uphill climb to success — academically and otherwise.

When Shields’ mother, Nastassja Miller, was pregnant, doctors said her daughter was sickly, and could be born with Down syndrome or be developmentally delayed. While the doctors were wrong about that, at 6 months old, Shields needed her left kidney removed. And then, when Shields was 2 years old, her father was incarcerated, leaving Miller to raise Shields on her own for over a decade.

Despite all those challenges, Shields, now a senior at Crosstown High School in Memphis, is in the top 20 in her graduating class – with four years of straight As – and on her way to college.

By scrapping a high-stakes exam, has one big state really reduced K-12 testing?
Teachers are not pleased that Florida’s year-end standardized exam will be replaced with a system of smaller tests.

A promise to end standardized testing in Florida is not what it seems, teachers said this week after Gov. Ron DeSantis launched the state’s new assessment system.

The Florida Standards Assessment, also known as FSA, was scrapped Tuesday after a months-long process that began with DeSantis declaring that a change in assessments would allow teachers to focus more on student growth. In a move that was welcomed by educators, DeSantis last September announced the state would transition to FAST—the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking program—to monitor student progress more regularly.

Fewer People Are Getting Teacher Degrees. Prep Programs Sound the Alarm
As teacher dissatisfaction rates rise and concerns about teacher shortages intensify, colleges of education are sounding the alarm: Enrollment has been steadily declining for the past decade, and the pandemic has likely made things worse.

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education released its second comprehensive report of the state of teacher preparation on Tuesday afternoon, noting the many challenges facing the teaching profession—and some of the ways colleges are adapting. The report uses the most-recent federal data, which are from the 2018-19 school year, providing a benchmark on the status of teacher preparation before the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.

Study explores language asymmetries in bilingual Spanish-English picture books
How many books children have access to at home predicts how well they learn language and even how long they stay in school. 

Children’s picture books might seem simple, but they are crucial to learning language. Picture books contain words and sentence structures beyond what babies and toddlers might encounter in speech or song. For children being raised bilingual, who are learning two languages at the same time, reading with parents and caregivers is crucial because these children must learn twice as many words. There are more than 12 million American children growing up bilingual, and over 8 million of these children speak Spanish at home. 

Judge Patricia Guerrero is confirmed as first Latina on California Supreme Court
“As I’ve tried to express, this is not just about me, or really even just about my parents, but it’s about so many others just like us…This is a story of the American dream,” she said.

A San Diego appeals court judge who is the daughter of Mexican immigrants was confirmed Tuesday as the first Latina to serve on the California Supreme Court.

Justice Patricia Guerrero was approved by a 3-0 vote of the Commission on Judicial Appointments to fill the vacancy left by Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who stepped down last year.

Las Tienditas
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