With all the xenophobic rhetoric poisoning politics today, young people could easily get the wrong impression about the land of the free and many of the immigrants who struggle to get here.
So it’s not only worth celebrating, but spreading as widely as possible, the wonderful antidote that folks behind Moline’s Fourth Wall Films and WQPT-TV have found to such venom as Donald Trump’s contention that Mexico sends us primarily its drug addicts, criminals and rapists.
While the GOP presidential candidate did concede that “some” Mexican immigrants “I assume, are good people,” Fourth Wall and area public television leaders have found a perfect way to educate him -- and now young people throughout the nation -- about just how good, even great, many of them are.
They have adapted for schools and teachers the award-winning documentary “Letters Home to Hero Street,” so the story of the patriotic, courageous Mexican Americans of Hero Street, so well known to us, can find its way into classrooms across the nation. This compelling immigration story is just one of the components of this new curriculum.
Education is, of course, the primary goal of the PBS LearningMedia lesson plan geared to junior-high and high school students. And it will no doubt help to bring home the realities of World War II to today’s students in new, more compelling ways as the 25-minutes documentary tells Frank Sandoval’s World War II story through letters he sent home to his family in Silvis between 1942 and 1944.
It also will help pre-teens and teens to connect with today’s soldiers by urging them to write letters through Operation Gratitude and to past heroes by urging them to design and advocate for an overdue war memorial to the 15 Mexican-American medal of honor winners.
Co-producers Lora Adams, of WQPT, and Tammy Rundle, and director Kelly Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, are among those celebrating “such an excellent teaching resource.”
The documentary provided “a wonderful opportunity to teach students about World War II through the perspective of this very personal story of a soldier and his family,” Ms. Adams told reporter Jonathan Turner. “We are excited to share this story, that is so important to our community, with the entire United States and beyond.”
We salute Fourth Wall and WQPT for making this important film and sharing it. We also salute others who worked to make this wonderful classroom tool available, including Bob Ontiveros, Matthew Casillas, LULAC Council No. 10 of Davenport and Darryl Morin. It was created with the help of Illinois Public Media -- WILL-PBS (in Champaign-Urbana), and Mark Foley, who teaches U.S. history at Urbana High School.
We urge teachers who haven’t already done so to access the resource at pbslearningmedia.org and then help spread this wonderful story of courage and patriotism to their colleagues in this community and beyond it.
Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to send Mr. Trump’s campaign a link to it, as well.
To read the full Dispatch-Argus editorial click HERE!