Campus: CSU Fullerton -- May 20, 2005
Cal State Fullerton Alumna Dedicates Book to Education Faculty
"Not only did I receive a wonderful education from the faculty at Cal State
Fullerton, I received self-confidence, a greater understanding of how children
learn and the desire to mentor student teachers," said author and Cal State
Fullerton alumna Jane Medina of Orange.
Medina recently celebrated the publication of her second children's book, "The
Dream on Blanca's Wall," and dedicated it to the faculty in the CSUF College of
Education. (The book is being considered for the Tomás Rivera Mexican American
Children's Book Award, which was established to encourage authors, illustrators
and publishers of books that authentically reflect the the lives of Mexican
American children and young adults in the United States.)
An elementary school teacher for 28 years, Medina completed her master of science
in education-elementary curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in diversity
in 1999. She has always taught in schools where the majority of her students
came from low-income, Hispanic families, so Medina has long been aware of the
needs and concerns of her students.
"Prior to starting my master's, I transferred to a school that segregated English
learners into classes that only taught ESL…no other subjects. I was shocked that
my 9- and 10-year-old students couldn't read," she said. "I was incensed that
they were considered second-class citizens, consigned to separate and unequal
A desire to "understand the injustice" these children suffered led Medina to earn
her graduate degree. Around this time, she also began writing poetry about her
students' struggles - as a means to "get out my emotions."
Those experiences led to the publication of her first book, "My Name Is Jorge:
On Both Sides of the River," the story of a young boy and his experiences of
being an immigrant child in school.
Her second book focuses on the story of a sixth-grade girl, Blanca, who wants
to be a teacher. However, she notices that none of the teachers in her school are
brown-skinned like she is. The story culminates when a Hispanic student teacher
arrives and Blanca learns that she can, indeed, follow her dream of becoming a
teacher. Boyds Mills Press published both books.
"I wanted to dedicate this book to the faculty at Cal State Fullerton because of
their belief in me," she said. "In my book, I create a teacher who encouraged
Blanca in a way I was never encouraged in school...at least until I got to Cal
State Fullerton. I think every student deserves to be encouraged by at least one
teacher. I was in my 40s before I found the teachers to encourage me. I am so
thankful to them."
Media Contact: Valerie Orleans, Public Affairs, at (714) 278-4540