"The Circuit" is Inspirational

Ms. Cassano-Repole (back right), and Teaching Assistant Ms. Leonora Gaynor (back left), with Stimson 8th grade students who wrote to Professor Jimenez.
Ms. Cassano-Repole (back right), and Teaching Assistant Ms. Leonora Gaynor (back left), with Stimson 8th grade students who wrote to Professor Jimenez.

Francisco Jimenez knows full well the hardships, as well as the opportunities, that many of our Mexican and Central American immigrants find here in America. As a child he worked in the fields of California under deplorable conditions, but his family knew the value of education and today, Dr. Jimenez is an esteemed author and director of the Ethnic Studies Program at Santa Clara University in California.

On the other side of the county, at Stimson Middle School, many of the students in Ms. Michelle Cassano-Repole’s Emerging/Transitioning class are now in their 2nd year in this country and rapidly learning English as a New Language (ENL). One of the assignments in their ENL course was reading Dr. Jimenez’s autobiographical short story: The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. “Once they completed his book, I asked my students to write letters of reflection to Professor Jimenez,” said Ms. Cassano. “Much to my surprise he responded.”

“Students, I am honored to learn that reading The Circuit has encouraged you to work hard in your studies,” said Professor Jimenez. “As you now know, my experience has taught me that the best way to realize your dreams, whatever they may be, is through education. A good education will enrich your lives in many ways. It will give you opportunities to seek the kind of work you wish to do and the kind of life you desire to live. Your education is yours forever, no matter what happens. For these reason I encourage your to take advantage of every opportunity that Stimson Middle School teachers like Ms. Cassano-Repole have to offer.”