LP journal complex math formulas and scientific reports to estimate nations’ energy consumption, civilization’s carbon footprints and global-warming impacts. “Definitely, Bioscience High’s focus on sustainability has opened my eyes as to how things will look in the future. California also is doing the whole sustainability thing,” Benitez says. “The current course that our country is taking is unsustainable. It’s too reliant on fossil fuels and coal. These fuels are cheap, but there is a cost in increasing CO2 levels, mercury in the water and acid rain. Future generations are going to have to live under harsher regulations because of climate change.” Green curricula are the backbone of California’s Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), which was developed by the California Environmental Protection Agency after a 2003 law mandated it. The EEI consists of 85 units for kindergarten through 12th grade. Kindergarteners use a Resources Bingo game to learn about drinking water and water resources. The goal is environmental literacy for all state students. When fully implemented, the EEI lessons will be used in 1,000 school districts, 9,900 schools and by 6.2 million students. Public and private partnerships will help fund the curriculum’s implementation, accord to the California EPA. While students like Omar Benitez are intensely interested in these classes, not all schools in Arizona offer green curricula. The Arizona Department of Education allows school districts and charter schools wide leeway in the ways ecology might be taught. The Arizona Academic Standards require basic instruction in the “impact of human activities on the environment” starting in third grade, but green lessons plans are just an option. Benitez says that what he learned at school are tools that his and future generations need to be good stewards of our planet. “What I learned was creative problemsolving,” he says. “There are lots of problems in this country that will need
creative problem-solving principles to provide solutions. We have to start thinking about how we do things for a more sustainable future.”
Media compete for bilingual market Reaching out to Hispanics worked for Obama. Now, formerly all-Spanish media networks are partnering with Englishlanguage networks in competition for the rapidly growing Hispanic bilingual, bicultural market. For media companies looking to grow outlets and advertising profits, Hispanics are less a niche market, and more like the U.S. media future. Telemundo, the number two U.S. Spanish-language network, led the parade when it merged with NBC to create NBC Universal. Several years ago, Telemundo created a cable channel, Mun2 (pronounced “mundos,” a play on “two worlds”), which went way beyond traditional telenovelas and offered a range of bilingual programs, including reality shows. The Fox network followed by launching MundoFox, a Spanish-language broadcast network that offered English closed-captioning on some of its shows. Now, both are battling a new competitor – last year the Spanish-language media giant Univision teamed up with ABC News. The network is partnering with ABC News on a 24-hour news and information channel called Fusion that is set to debut in late summer, 2013. Some reports say Univision is also talking to Disney to create an all-English news channel for Hispanics. Another
sign that Univision wants to be a hybrid language network is that it began broadcasting its prime-time telenovelas with English subtitles. This media-merging madness is faithfully following the market research. Most of the Hispanic population growth in the past decade came from native-born kids, not immigration. In addition, the research shows that, currently, only about one-fifth of U.S. Hispanics prefer Spanish-language TV programs. Most, about 80 percent, are bilingual or prefer their shows in English. Nor is the Hispanic consumer outreach explosion limited to television. The on-line news site, Huffington Post, has created Huffington Post Latino Voices. Fox on-line created Fox News Latino. Now, CNN, which already has CNN en Español, is forming its own channel that will carry bilingual news. In the magazine world, Condé Nast and the Hearst Corporation are competing for territory in the Hispanic market. Condé Nast’s Glamour has a new quarterly supplement titled Glam Belleza Latina. Hearst has a bi-annual, Cosmopolitan for Latinas, which will go quarterly this year. Rolling Stone magazine introduced a bilingual insert last fall showcasing Latino music stars, with a different cover featuring Pitbull. The competition for Hispanics also is happening in radio, social media and on mobile platforms. Media biggies that were once adversaries are now becoming friends because they recognize that bilingual, bicultural Hispanics are a force to be reckoned with, particularly secondgeneration Hispanic millennials, ages 18 to 29, who speak little Spanish and would rather be talked to in English.
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¡ April 2013!
Latino Perspectives Magazine