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McDougle Middle Dual-Language Students Visit NC Museum of Art

MMS DL students at Kahlo exhibit On Monday, December 16, all three grades of Dual-Language (DL) students at McDougle Middle School (MMS) visited the “Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection” at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA). On a designated Art Education Day, free of charge to K-12 students, nearly 120 MMS students, staff and chaperones spent the morning in Raleigh, learning about the great artists, Kahlo and Rivera, as well as many of the historical and social influences in their art.

Magdalena Berrios, DL social studies teacher, said, “In order to be completely bilingual, our students not only need to be proficient in Spanish, but also know the culture behind the language. Having this exhibition in North Carolina is an amazing opportunity for every student.”

The students had the opportunity to explore a diverse selection of paintings, photographs and videos that represent the diversity of Mexican culture and artists. Although they viewed the exhibition without guided instruction, five Ask Me docents were available in each gallery, answering questions and engaging students in dialogue. MMS DL students at NCMA

Daniel Furberg, an eighth grade student, said, “Being part of the Dual-Language program allows us to learn more about different cultures.” 

Mateo LaSerna added, “Learning about Mexican culture can be fun.” 

Emiliana Rodriguez said, “It was very fun to be close to those historical paintings, and it meant a lot to me because I have Mexican roots.” 

Natalia Serre said, We didn’t only explore Frida Kahlo’s paintings, but also we learned about her challenging life and how her art is impacting the world.” 

Lula Caress said, “This field trip was important because not only did we learn about Frida and Diego (Rivera), but we also learned about lesser known Mexican artists, letting us dive deeper into Mexican culture." 

Abby Rosenkrantz added, “This field trip was very beneficial for us as Dual-Language students, because we were able to learn about how the work of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and other Mexican artists are impactful to the culture of Mexico and our own culture.”

Statewide interest in the exhibition was extremely high among educators, and the scheduled tours were already filled by August. But the museum decided to open for two Mondays in December, when they are usually closed to the public, and more than 2,000 students benefited from that decision. On the day when MMS students visited the museum, 35 other schools’ students filled the galleries to learn more about Mexican culture. The museum offers extensive online resources and teaching tips  for teachers and parents who want to share background and analysis on Kahlo, Diego and Mexican Modernism.

Manager of Tour Experience at NCMA, Jennifer Coon, said, “The CHCCS students were among the best behaved that day, and well-chaperoned and well-supported by their teachers and parents!”

Well-done, DL Mustangs! Thanks for representing your school in such a positive way.