The Mother Tongue Project oversees a set of integrated programs and partnerships.
Mother Tongue English Class
This reading and writing seminar provides teen mothers with an alternative English III/IV credit. Its academic standards are high and its materials and the lens through which we examine them reflect the experiences of teen parents, combining rigor with relevancy. At the end of the course, successful student personal essays are published on The Santa Fe Reporter’s “Mother Tongue” blog.
The Project works with Santa Fe Public Schools and Capital High School (CHS) to offer the course at CHS. The Project hopes to strengthen its relationship with Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and explore the possibility of offering Mother Tongue as concurrent enrollment class, with tuition and materials covered by the Mother Tongue Project.
Mother Tongue Library
We cannot expect students with low-level literacy skills to seek out literature with few links to their experiences. A student discovering the richness of a book that speaks to her life, however, is more likely to seek out another book.
Santa Fe schools and libraries do not have diverse, high-quality collections that address issues of sexuality, teen pregnancy and parenthood, shifting identities, sexual politics, and the roles of maternal voices. The Mother Tongue Library fills this gap in consultation with teachers, librarians, and teen parents. Mother Tongue books will be catalogued in the high school library and shelved in the Teen Parent Center classroom so students can easily check them out.
The Mother Tongue Library also includes class sets of books for the Mother Tongue English Class that students may check out for the year.
Mother Tongue Mentors
Mother Tongue Mentors are former teen parents who have achieved academic, professional, and personal goals: They are real-life role models who can further young parents’ resiliency through connections of common experiences and by modeling values of perseverance and achievement.