Corre la Voz

CLV banner photoCorre la Voz is an intensive field study program that supports students learning how to work with 4th-5th grade Dual Language Learners as after-school mentors in ways that promote community and collective empowerment.  Our program also requires mentors to participate as planners in our collaborative organization, and expands each person’s understanding and range of skills as purposeful communicators, always learning and always teaching each other. In this small after-school program, we are accountable to our students and their families, to the Bay View Elementary community that supports us, to Oakes College and to our grant funders, UC Links--yet we have an unusual amount of autonomy to be creative in our pedagogy.  We work very hard, continually reviewing and re-creating a learning community the way it should be: responsive to the needs of the students: fun, challenging, loving, and kind.

What we do in CLV:

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Our program content (curriculum) is continually shifting as a reflection of the students and mentors who are in the space.  We follow an annual thematic cycle that begins in Fall with social-emotional literacy, drama, narrative structure, and celebration of indigenous and Latin American culture.  In Winter we introduce poetry, documentary interview, self-recognition, concepts of community, public, and justice.  In Spring, we support students’ personal non-fiction projects and seek activities and councils that support problem-solving based on values as students are preparing to move into middle school.  In general, each quarter includes at least one open-circle council, a documentary research field trip and sometimes a guest speaker as well.  Our days are usually like this:
3:00 Literacy mentoring, including creative writing, photo-voice, cultural history, art, and on Thursdays, the students’ math homework.  
3:40 Dinámica, led by rotating classroom committees.  A whole-class activity to promote kinesthetic, participatory learning and communication.  This might be a game!
4:10 Project Time, when mentors guide students to develop their ideas and interests in digital art (photo-voice, documentary, dramatic films).

Striving for Daily Engagement:

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Although our program is not bound by fixed achievement standards or production goals, we are funded by UC Links, which supports university-community research and learning in multi-modal literacy.  Our measurement rubric and ongoing self-assessment as a Links program is based on assessing student engagement--the extent to which they are purposefully and actively involved in a variety of activities designed to stimulate their thinking and holistic growth as communicators.  This allows us to identify barriers that get in the way of students’ well-being, and we try a range of communicative and situational tools to help each other reach new goals of confidence, pride, stamina, purpose and insight in their projects, in their learning, and in their relationships.  We want them to “learn to be learners,” both in and out of school; in this sense, to become literate is to understand how to continue to educate yourself.

The Vocer@ Method & Social Learning:
CLV photo #3After seven years of accumulated wisdom, we have developed what we call “the Vocer@ Method,” which we strive to use in low-ratio and whole group situations to keep ourselves connected with each other and learning As a problem-solving method in teaching and organization, this emphasizes strengths-based assessments, shared inquiry, and strategically assisted production (appropriate scaffolding with goals).  As a set of communication techniques in teaching and organization, this method leads mentors to be more intentional and reflective while they build skills as co-narrators, small group facilitators, and classroom leaders who use whole-body & explicit communication techniques and who use questions wisely.  Students often experience impressive growth in social-emotional and expressive capacities in CLV, and this strength spills over into other areas of learning, including critical thinking and moral reasoning.

Mentor skill sets and cohort learning in co-leadership: 

CLV photo #4This is an ideal hands-on learning program for students who already understand how minority populations are displaced by curricula, language, and cultural assumptions that exclude and disadvantage them, and have already studied the large-scale effects of language repression, and are looking for useful tools to take forward. Course materials refer to these historical phenomena but assume readers are familiar with them and are seeking solutions. We place language, literacy, and power at the center of analysis and practice with our community of almost all Latina/o students.  How does this young person use language?  What are their preferences in relation to English and Spanish?  What kinds of “keys” unlock understandings, stories, and questions?  What verbal, written, and multi-modal (drawing, photographic) techniques work to “bridge” or reveal strengths that may be untapped? How do we build confidence to face new challenges?  Students are supervised and mentored by university faculty and a classroom teacher, and also work in committees, to participate in and sustain this after-school program by planning and leading events, outreach, and materials/equipment coordination.   

There are three part-time student staff positions (Program Assistants); PA’s gain additional training and practice in leadership, planning, and multi-faceted communication skills needed to inspire and train incoming mentors and guide their program areas.


Research and paths of study:

CLV photo #5This course also teaches methods of regular and ethical field observation necessary for graduate work and social care professions; each quarter, students reflect on their own systematic classroom data to analyze their own learning.  Many students petition their major department to count the full 5-unit course (151A/B) to count for an upper division requirement.



We invite undergrads from throughout UCSC to apply to be part of our mentoring cohort and organization. Our program operates all three quarters, and we always have openings as some mentors continue and others move on.  Mentors do not need to be bilingual, do not need to be Education Minors, and do not need digital expertise.  However, we do need to maintain a significant portion of the cohort that is natively fluent in Spanish; and our 2-unit course does not cover the basics of child development, dual language learning, or Latina/o Studies;

Students must apply to this program (in Weeks 7-10 of the previous quarter, during enrollment), and go through an interview process.  The number of available positions in the mentor cohort varies each quarter. Please fill out this application to become a mentor. For more information, write to:

New mentors enroll in Oakes 151A, a 2-unit seminar; all mentors enroll in the 3-unit field study, Oakes 151B.  Schedule is the same each quarter: Seminar Mondays 5:20-7:20 pm; Program Tuesdays/Thursdays 3-5:30 pm.