Llano Grande History with Edcouch-Elsa ISD
The Llano Grande Center and EEISD have enjoyed a successful and mutually beneficial relationship over the past 10 years. As an extension of the informal college preparation activities that were taking place in the classroom, Llano Grande was formalized as a program of EEISD in 1997. In partnership with EEISD, we received funding from the Annenberg Rural Challenge for the oral history project. Llano Grande then began collecting and archiving oral histories from community members who shared their life histories.
During this time, EEISD provided in-kind support to Llano Grande including instructional space and partial time of faculty, counselors, and administrators. This collaboration resulted in the founding of the Llano Grande Journal and the development of curriculum materials based on the oral histories. In later years, through resources raised from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Llano Grande collaborated with district faculty to create a folklorico dance troupe based at LBJ Elementary, a student-run radio station based out of EEHS, and an EEHS alumni group. Since becoming fiscally independent in 2002, the Center has raised revenue to continue providing services in the district. The Center gained national recognition for its work with student development, for its oral history collection, and its pre-college advising work.
Over the years, EEISD has achieved renown throughout the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and the nation for its unique college-going culture that has been instilled among its students and families. Llano Grande’s innovative approaches to education and community empowerment, as well as its storytelling capabilities, have helped to maintain the high expectations of students and families in Edcouch-Elsa.
Current Partnership with Edcouch-Elsa ISD
Llano Grande’s classroom (A-1) is frequented by students of all grade levels, parents, teachers, and administrators.
EEISD continues to provide the classroom at EEHS where the Center achieves strong student involvement. Currently, the Llano Grande Center provides a significant cluster of services to the students of EEHS. The Center’s staff engages in daily instruction with high school students, provides opportunities for learning and advancement, produces public education and informational media campaigns, and provides miscellaneous services on an as-needed basis to school administration.
Llano Grande does not select its students; rather, we have an open-door policy and we work with students of all academic backgrounds and population groups.
We have found that students who participate in our programs become more engaged in their classroom learning as they grow to understand their identity and capacity for leadership and civic participation. Students grow to understand the importance of setting life goals and become increasingly self-motivated in achieving their goals.