A makeshift school held in Jimmy Ramos' driveway to teach English now has a name, La Escuelita del Pueblo, and plans for a fund-raiser to keep it going.
The school, which began last month, is taught from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays by Ramos and eight students from Fullerton College and Cal State Fullerton.
Ramos started it in an effort to help people who want to learn English but can't attend classes during the week or pay for them.
La Escuelita gets no funding other than donations from neighbors.
So on July 9, the makeshift school will have a party from 1 to 8 p.m. to raise money for teacher and student supplies. The fund-raiser will take place on Ramos' driveway, at 334 1/2 Truslow Ave. The public is invited.
More than 80 of Ramos' students will help him and the other teachers provide Mexican and Guatemalan food, including mole, tamales , tacos and chamin, which will be sold at $1 a plate.
Entertainment will include Aztec dancing, poetry readings and skits by the Chicano Poet Society, Mexican folkloric dances, clown acts by Tin Tin and Ton Ton, music by the band Ceniza, a theatrical performance by a neighborhood acting troupe and recorded music spun by Ramos, who is a part-time disc jockey.
"With the money we raise from the food sales, we're hoping to be able to buy headphones, tape recorders, videocassette recorders and other supplies to help the students learn in the classes," Ramos said.
He points to the number of students as evidence that the English classes are badly needed in his neighborhood. When La Escuelita opened on June 4, he was not prepared for the 120 people who lined up and had to run door to door asking to borrow chairs.
"People are coming to these classes because they know they need to learn English for a better opportunity at a well-paying job and to be able to achieve their dreams here in the United States," he said. "We see that need and are doing whatever we can to help."