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Teachin' cotton

January 31, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Students have been finding out interesting things about cotton this week.

"There are different colors. Most clothes are made from it and if we didn't have cotton we would have no clothes," said Ashley Lytle, 10, of Brawley.

Ashley and her classmates from Phil Swing Elementary School in Brawley were learning about cotton at the Cotton Festival at the Community Learning Center in Brawley.

Students from fourth- and fifth-grade classes from elementary schools in Brawley with Sacred Heart Catholic School in Brawley and Westmorland elementary schools participated in the festival.

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However, the cotton festival is not just intended to teach the students about cotton.

"It is a program intended to bring the students to experience hand-on activities in areas of math and writing through different subjects," said Elizabeth Mason, project coordinator at the learning center.

The festival teaches students how math and other subjects are used to pick and produce cotton.

The cotton festival is part of the "Proyecto ESPECIAL."

ESPECIAL stands for Exceptional Student, Staff and Parent Education through Creative and Integrated/Interactive Academies and Literacy development.

The program offers other services to the community such as computer classes for adults and much more.

Only fourth- and fifth-grade students from the schools mentioned participated in the program.

The center handled more than 300 students per day all week. Students were given a brief demonstration on how crops grow and what they require.

Students were shown the different types of cotton and what can be produced from them.

Staff at the learning center used their high-tech computers to give students a Powerpoint presentation on cotton.

Armando Buenrostro, 10, said he learned what can be made from cotton.

Vanessa Miranda, 10, said, "I learned that cotton is a fruit and the process of picking cotton."

Luis Gonzalez, 10, said he thinks cotton is important because, "You make clothes, paper and other cool stuff."

Even Phil Swing fifth-grade teacher Micaela Fletes learned something from the festival.

"We all know what cotton makes but today I learned the whole process," she said.

She added it is important for Imperial Valley students to learn about cotton because, "They should know where their clothes come from and what can be made by cotton."

She added the students also learned how math helps in the cotton business.

Mason said the educators picked cotton as the subject because, "We live here in the Imperial Valley and cotton is part of our community."

She added classes that went to the festival earlier in the week enjoyed the festival.

"Hopefully they'll remember and connect with what they have learned," she added.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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