San Antonio Celebrates Texas History and An Education for All

A Bash to Benefit

Cindy Krause once taught her fourth graders in San Antonio a year-long curriculum steeped in Texas history.

Along with the rest of their city, the class would linger on the story of what happened in 1836 when General Sam Houston and his men held off the Mexican army.

It was the Battle of San Jacinto—and it won Texas its independence.

“Every year we mark that day with a huge city-wide festival called ‘Fiesta,'” Cindy says.

And every year the event benefits one thing for all San Antonio children: education.

A Long History

Proceeds from Fiesta’s first event this year—an oyster bake at St. Mary’s University—will go to scholarships for underserved communities.

“Somehow this two-week event to mark history turned into a push for better education in our community,” Cindy says.

“The whole thing looks a lot like Mardi Gras,” she says.

When Cindy was a high school student in San Antonio, her dance team would march in Fiesta’s oldest and largest event—the Battle of Flowers parade.

“We even trade small medals like New Orleans beads,” she says.

Promoting the Parent Toolkit

Cindy is a content specialist for scoring services at Pearson, focusing on math and science.

This year's Pearson medal for San Antonio's Fiesta celebration.
This year’s Pearson medal for San Antonio’s Fiesta celebration.

This year—in her spare time—she designed a special medal for Fiesta.

The medal hangs from a light blue pin drape and features a handful of adults and children holding hands.

On top, the medal reads “Viva Fiesta.”

On the bottom, it reads “Pearson.”

Cindy and eight of her colleagues will be handing out these medals during various Fiesta events.

At the same time, they’ll be spreading the word about the free Parent Toolkit that’s sponsored by Pearson and the NBC News Education Nation.

It’s a useful guide for parents who want to help children do better in school—but don’t know how.

Helping Parents Help Their Children

“The Toolkit is a great resource for a community that places such a value on education,” Cindy says.

“There are hints to help kids with troublesome math concepts,” she says. “There are tips about nutrition, exercise, teacher conferences, guidelines about social and behavioral needs—even questions to ask pediatricians.”

Cindy says it’s especially useful information for the wide variety of cultures that have settled in San Antonio.

Recent Census figures show the city’s population to be more than 60-percent Hispanic or Latino.

“Many in our community never finished school,” Cindy says. “So it’s tough to help their children with schoolwork.”

“The Parent Toolkit helps fill a void,” she says, “it’s totally free and it’s offered in both English and Spanish.”

‘El Rey Feo’

Cindy will also be accompanying one of Fiesta’s most high-profile figures as he visits schools and promotes education: “El Rey Feo,” or “the ugly king.”

It’s the title given to the largest individual fundraiser in the Rey Feo Scholarship Foundation, an organization that’s partially supported by Pearson.

“He’s been a part of Fiesta as long as I can remember,” Cindy says.

“Everywhere we go, we’ll be promoting the Parent Toolkit to help parents help their students do better in school, “Cindy says. “And we’ll be taking part in this amazing party to celebrate who we are as Texans—as well as promoters of education.”

Local news coverage of the event can be found here.