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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | Countywide

Bilingualism Focus of Theater Program

May 09, 1998|BRENDA LOREE

Ventura County poets, storytellers and performance artists will take on the issue of bilingual education at a May 16 event called "Voices of the People: Bilingualism and English for the Children" in Ventura.

Ventura poet Marsha de la O describes the night as "a cross between a forum, a rally and a hootenanny. "The thrust is toward a wider political vision of the educational process than a single year of [English] immersion," said the poet.

Marcos Vargas, former director of El Concilio in Oxnard, is coordinator of the 7 p.m. show at Ventura Bookstore, 522 E. Main St.

"As the public debate heats up around 'English only' in the schools, we want to provide other voices to the current debate," Vargas said. He said that El Nino Players--a group of teachers, parents and children--"will perform a sort of guerrilla-theater skit on the Unz Initiative."

Children from bilingual classes at Juanamaria Elementary School in Ventura will act out stories, and Alicia Morris of Oxnard will represent California Poets in the Schools.

Oxnard Mayor Manny Lopez and Ventura County Supervisor John Flynn will speak, and students from around Ventura County will read from the works of Oxnard writer Michelle Serros and other authors.

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