Labor leaders and Tejano stars

Cooper Elementary Dual Language Academy is a preK-5 public school in Pilsen, located at 18th and Paulina.  And, you guessed it: the school is covered in murals!

98% of Cooper students are Latino, predominantly Mexican.  The school is bilingual and emphasizes adult education for parents including ESL, GED and family literacy programs.  Between 1991-1999 Francisco Mendoza, an art educator and muralist, led the students in creating dozens of mosaics depicting key individuals in Mexican and Mexican American history.  

The stretch of wall pictured above features indepence fighters, revolutionaries, and presidents.  Nearby we find labor leaders…

and Tejano stars…

and Aztec rulers.

Some of the kids who worked on the project are now in their 20s, and I think about them someday bringing their own children to Cooper to celebrate history and be inspired by a full block of role models.

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