Photo of Virgin of Guadalupe in front yard of a home. (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)
Maps are marvelous tools. They show you where you are and tell you how to get where you want to go.

Nothing beats a map. Well maybe GPS, but even that is essentially a digital map.

So Rowland Unified School District decided to draw its own map. A metaphysical map that would mark the varied cultures and concerns of our community.

They call it community mapping. And Rowland hopes it will help schools match the needs of the community with the resources available in our neighborhoods. Call it a new partnership for these difficult times, when we all need a special synergy to provide for the education of our kids.

"Schools are the center of our community. They expect our schools to reach out to the community,"

Shelyn Parent Karla Hernandez sharing her Community Mapping insights. (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)
said school board director Gilbert Garcia. "Community mapping gives us a new perspective ... we hope the result will be to build more of a reciprocal relationship with our community."

Garcia noted the district is a hodgepodge of different cultures, religions and races. But he says this brings a vibrant strength to our communities.

So Rowland Unified formed a committee of teachers, staff and parents to "map" our community. They traveled around the district, visiting areas many had never explored before.

"We visited Heritage House and a Korean church for example," Garcia said. "I discovered neighborhoods I hadn't been to before."

He was joined by teachers like George Herrera, who became very enthusiastic

about the new project.

"I've lived here all my life and I'd never been to downtown La Puente before," Herrera admitted. "It was exciting to explore our own community outside school."

The committee met off campus to learn more about parents' expectations and concerns. Click HERE for entire story!