Inside California Education: Saving the Yurok Language
On, the next inside, California, Education the, deaths of a language it, goes hand-in-hand with the, death of a culture and that should be stopped as much as possible the, language spoken by the Yurok, tribe in, northern california is, being, saved, from the brink of extinction and it's, being done with the help of local, public school students. Explore. A new push to enroll foster, youth in college an effort that supporters. Say is necessary. For them to live above the poverty, line in expensive. Areas of California like the Silicon Valley. And. A, long-running, performing, arts program in Modesto, cast students, from several, different schools and grades uniting. Them all through the experience. Of theater it's. All next on inside. California. Education. Funding. For inside california, education, is made possible by since. 1985. The california, lottery has raised more than thirty two billion dollars in supplemental, funding for California's, 1,100. Public school districts from kindergarten, through college that's. Approximately one, hundred ninety one dollars for, each full-time. Students based on 1.5, billion contributed. In fiscal year 2016-17. With. Caring, teachers committed, administrators. And active, parents every, public school student, can realize, their dreams the, California, Lottery imagine. The possibilities. The. Stewart foundation improving. Life outcomes for young people through education. Welcome. To inside California, education, I'm Jim Finnerty in far, northern California, near Eureka, you'll discover rugged, beaches and rivers that have been the home to the Yurok tribe for. Centuries, that's. Where we found tribal, members who are partnering, with schools there, to, keep a key part of their culture, alive the, Yurok language. You're. Gonna copycat. Me three, times they're gonna do this three times okay, so. Maybe. More. Movie. More. May. We more. All.
Right. Are, you queen neck now James Jenn saw teacher, honk oh my car Fuli. Claw at all Eureka. Highschool chia-wei attack, pops, lset. Very. Very. Funny. James, Jin saw is teaching, these students, an ancient, Native American. Language, it's. Also his, tribes, native. Language now all the words in New York think, they're so beautiful. Yurok is one of three world languages. Offered to students at Eureka high school in Humboldt County, it's. One of several public, schools teaching, Yurok in the far northern region, of California, not, prairie. There's. A lot of kids that take York, that take it because just. Because they're curious and they want to find out what it's all about weight. Yarn I can. Learn Spanish or German anywhere, else this is the only place I can actually learn Yurok it, took it just out of interest, in, linguistics. And I really do like how it sounds. It sounds aesthetically. Nice to me other. Students, are learning nirach for deeper, reasons, than fulfilling, their foreign language requirement who. Saw Nina Bell probably. A quarter, of the students are actually have, Yurok descendency, so. I think it's just you, know part of that trying, to find out who they are and, and find, out a little bit more about themselves. Connect. Went, wrong Danny. Is one of those students, who is taking the advanced, Yurok language, class mr.. Jenson not only teaches, the language but he also teaches. The cultures and the stories that come with it he has, done so much to help this language when, I started learned this language there was all. My, speakers, were, all in their 90's, had a couple that were close, to a hundred years old there's, only 25, fluent. Speakers, in your office, the. Language, needs all the help it, can get, it is on the brink of becoming, extinct. Linguists, 25. Years ago predicted the Yurok language, was gonna be extinct by the year 2010. The last known fully fluent, native speaker, passed, away in 2013. All that, remains today are. Roughly, thirty conversationally. Fluent speakers. And only, several people who can speak Yurok at a high fluency, level with. James being, one of them I think when when, any endangered. Language. Becomes. Extinct, or loses its last. Speaker. I think. That, we as humans, lose, a part of our own humanity. For. Thousands, of years the Yurok, whose, name means down river people thrived. In dozens, of villages along, the Klamath, River it. Was their lifeline used. For transportation, and, providing. A rich bounty, of salmon. And other essentials. But. The arrival of white settlers, and their diseases during, the gold rush started. The Yurok stack line, thousands. Died and, others, were sent to boarding schools, established. By the u.s. government to eradicate. The, Yurok culture. Children. Were punished, for, speaking their, native language. And forced. To learn English. By. The early 1900's, only. A few, Yurok still, spoke in their native tongue, well. It's like an apocalypse I mean, a whole world changed. It's, a lot of deep wounds and it's gonna take time it's not something that can be fixed, in one generation or two generations I, think that all of us are working, towards that healing, and I. Think. The language plays, an important, role in that healing process, now. The public, school system, is trying, to help make up for wrongs, committed, in, the past I think it's a little ironic that part. Of the reason that the York. Language. Almost. Became extinct, was because of the boarding schools in a school, system but, we can use our system and we. Can use as a tool to revitalize. Our language, to kind of breathe life back into the language the, public schools are an integral, part of the tribes language, restoration. Program, the, long term goal is for. Our people, to once again be speaking, only Urraca, as our primary language. Barbara. MacKinnon is with the Yurok language, restoration, program, established. By tribal elders, in the 1950s. We. Owe a, lot to those elders, that had enough foresight to know, that we needed to preserve, our language like. James she, too teaches, Yurok she. Remembers, one student, in particular and one of her community language, classes, she was teaching back in the early 2000s. He really applied himself and I hadn't seen anybody like, that he. Had flashcards. He would write everything down he'd, go home and practice he'd. Come back the next week you know ready to learn. More and use what he learned. The student, was James. Jinsol. You, know it's always a goal of a teacher to, have students, learn. More than then, then, you're able to teach him and he did that Manette's, aw sh t.
Now Monkey to. Me I took on that responsibility and, I don't think of it as a burden I think, of it somebody, has to do it and I think it was just something that I, was, chosen. To do Kushan okay I want water. Tina. Shot calcio, up sustaining. And sharing. This essential, part of an ancient culture with. Future, generations is, exactly, what Barbara, James. And their. Students, hope is already. Starting, to happen I'm. Taking, this class because I am Yurok and, my, ultimate goal is to, keep the language going to learn it completely, so that I can pass it on to younger people - it. Is part, of my culture and, if, I can do anything to help it I definitely will. The. Language. It, goes hand-in-hand with the death of a culture and that should be stopped as much as possible. Okay. - laws as a song. Each, year the number of Yurok speakers, grows and, this, language restoration. Program, is widely, recognized. As one of California's. Most, successful. Screamer. Toss up get your ass. One, day that you're off the plane would be a living. Flourishing. Language words spoken everywhere, I, know. For sure it's gonna happen may. Not happen in my lifetime but. Our, language. Will be back our ceremonies, will be back and once. Again we're. Gonna be whole. Table. Mascot, keeping inside I've got cheap ma I. Walk. Now walk. Walk. All. Those elders they're up there co, wasting now and they're looking down there I think they're really hoppy. Prior. To the arrival of Columbus about, 300, indigenous, languages, were spoken in, North America, today, only, half of those languages still exist some, languages, like Navajo, in the southwest, and Dakota, in the Midwest are thriving with tens of thousands of speakers but many, others are facing extinction with, scholars predicting, that only 20 indigenous, languages, will remain by 2050. Our. Next. Story explores, the unique challenges, faced. By California's. Foster, youth many, of whom are moved from home to home and as a result, from school, to school a new. Effort is underway to help more of these foster, youth not, only graduate, from high school but to move on to college and professional, careers. The. Foster care system can, be really. Really. Messed, up. Through. The foster care system I, experienced, just about every kind of abuse I've, had to endure different. Kinds of punishments. It, was really rough going. To school getting picked up by someone that doesn't look like me and then, all everyone's, asking me who's that and not knowing how to answer that Marshall. Was just four years old when the police arrived at his home and arrested, his parents, that, moment began his entry into the foster care system a journey, that would place him in dozens, of foster, homes sometimes.
Moving Every two weeks until the, age of 15, from. There it was like okay these kids are not gonna make it into foster home so from that point on I was in group homes until, I was 18, that's. Where, for. Me where my drug addiction started. My. Alcoholism really, kicked off. Drugs. And alcohol led distance in jail followed. By periods, when Marshall slept in his car but. Today Marshall, is doing what would have seemed impossible, a decade ago he's, four years sober and a, thriving college, student at California, State University Monterey, Bay, he. Credits the Bill Wilson, Center in Santa Clara for helping him rise above his past he. Regularly meets with one of the center's case managers, Rebecca, Trejo for, guidance and support he's. Grown so much just, to see him from where he came in you know struggling, day-to-day and the most basic things and seeing him so successful now you know being his own apartment it's, just amazing it amazes me the Bill, Wilson, Center and other foster care providers, like it are placing, more young people into college than, ever before, it's. Part of a broader statewide. Effort, that began in 2012, that's. The year California, enacted a new law extending. Foster care services from 18, until, the age of 21 what, it's meant for California. Is now we have, almost. 9,000. 18 to 21 year olds in foster, care in California and, we. For the first time have the opportunity. To, really help, them make a safe supported transition, into, post-secondary, education. 15. Years ago working. With kids leaving the foster care system at age 18. We used to focus on just getting them through, high school or with a GED well. That started, changing. About, ten years ago where we said in Silicon. Valley you, need to have a college education so our focus became, let's. Get kids into college let's. Just get youth, in foster care to graduate, from college because, that's what you need in this valley to get a good job a paying, job where, you can be successful. Dan. Hopes that College will provide a fresh path for, her and her young daughter Diana. Was in the foster care system from, the age of nine until, she aged out at 21 I remember. Having to move, around a lot and really. That affected my studies because I was always having to continuously. Adjust, to different schools and different, classes and that's why I always felt like I was behind, Dianna, dropped out of high school when she was 17, years old she earned her GED a year later but, she knew she wanted more for her growing family, she.
Joined The bill Wilson Center's transitional, housing program which provides, a range of services for, foster, youth through the age of 25 helping. With everything from rent to food and transportation. Ashley. R Eric is the supervisor, of the program, as, well as Diana's, case manager, for. A lot of foster youth they've, been to 20. Or, more, schools, and been interrupted. Multiple. Times in one academic year, so. You can imagine, constantly. Having to move and get. Used to a new teacher and you structure, what you were working on in the last class is no longer being worked on in the new class so we, start out by ensuring, do they have a high school diploma, if not we'll work with them on a plan to get there and then, next on to post-secondary, education. The. Case manager, is there every, step of the way helping that young person, complete, each and every step there. Were always checking on me to make sure that I was meeting upcoming, deadlines, so, that I could stay on track with school when, I was in high school I felt like I wasn't prepared and I didn't, get the help that I needed in, contrast to that when, I started at Evergreen Valley College, but, Wilson senator they made sure that I was prepared to go to school today. Diana. In her final semester at Evergreen, Valley College. In San Jose she's. Earning two associate's, degrees next, she's, transferring, to a four-year, university this, is really, about helping young people you. Know get that academic, credential, earn. A place in in, the living wage economy, and. Have the opportunities. For themselves and their family, to live, with security, and to live with dignity in this. Area, particularly, in, Santa Clara County you, cannot, afford to live a decent, life, a, stable. Life where you're not at risk of homelessness, without. A college, degree or a vocational. Certificate. Beyond, high school this is the climate that we're in although, more foster youth are enrolling in college now challenges. Remain many. Don't understand, the financial aid resources available. To them so even, though all foster. Youth are eligible, for the Pell grant only 50%, of them are receiving, it even, fewer are getting the Cal Grant and many don't realize they can get help with career, technical education that's, a very common misconception if, a young person wants to go into a shorter-term training program they think well I don't have to do the FAFSA, because. I'm gonna be in the automotive program, at a local, community college that, is also eligible, those, funds can also be used to offset the real costs that go with those kind of programs Diana. Says she, wants other foster kids to know that there are resources, available to them financial. Or otherwise, if they do choose to go to college know, that they're gonna be well supported and that, many opportunities are going to be heading, their way but most importantly, that they aren't in it alone for, Marshall he says he still deals, with the trauma he went through as a child memories.
That Will never completely, disappear. It's hard to overcome that you, know, and. That really prohibits. Us from being. Successful but. Today he is, he's. On the pack to graduate, with a bachelor's degree in, collaborative, health and Community Services with, an emphasis in social, work today, my goal is to be a social worker and, to. Affect. Positive change, you. Know and, it's. Beautiful, and this. Journey is is hard. But. It's it's doable and. It's worth it. Did. You know foster. Youth get priority, registration at. California, community colleges and California. State University campuses, under. Current state law foster. Youth are also given, priority for. On-campus housing at, CSU. Campuses, during. Academic, breaks foster. Youth are allowed to stay in their housing, at no additional cost. Finally. Let's explore a popular, performing, arts program in Modesto, that's been bringing together students, from various schools for, decades it's, called the yes company and it, helps students discover valuable. Life skills through the power of performance. This. Looks as professional. As a Broadway, tour of Mary Poppins playing. In front of a packed audience, at, the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, but, these are professionals. They're schoolchildren. From all across Stanislaus. County coming. Together in harmony, and providing, some powerful lessons, the, arts are amazing. Because, there's. So many things that a young person can learn they. Learn about, being, responsible, about, teamwork, about, working. Together problem, solving, leadership. And it's. All through the Performing, Arts, Melanie, Wyatt is the founder, and director of yes company it, began in 1992, as a program, for at-risk kids, during the summer but. It quickly blossomed into a beloved countywide, program. Encompassing. Students of all socioeconomic. Backgrounds. From. Elementary, through high school, students. Participate, in yes company, theatre performances, backed, by the Stanislaus, County Office, of Education, it's. So important, to keep the arts in the schools and in. Education, because sometimes. That's the only place a, young person will shine and, they. Find a place for themselves in, the educational, system, and. Unfortunately. Funding. Is cut, and cut and cut and, my.
Premise, Is the, arts. Survive. When, a civilization dies. Yes. Company, really is special. They're. One of our resident, companies and they're. The only one that is geared. Entirely. To youth I bring, in acts from all over the country all over the world really you will never be disappointed in the quality of a yes company show it is, spectacular. Really and truly it's just, the, costuming. The choreography. The sets, it's. It's. Like a touring, Broadway, show, really truly they are they, are very, very, good at what they do Melanie. Spends the year auditioning. Selecting, and rehearsing, with students, this, group is practicing, for the summer performance, of Beauty and the Beast, Melanie. Herself once had her eye on, stage moving. To Manhattan and landing a major modeling, contract, becoming, the first international. Plus-size, model, while auditioning for Broadway shows but a back injury forced, her to put her acting dreams on hold I came home for one week vacation to. Modesto my, where, I was born and raised and, I. Never, made it back to New York City and I. Took that as you. Know your back is your support system and, maybe, it was just a little too. Hard. I wasn't being really supported, former, county superintendent Martin, Peterson heard a star student was back in town and asked. Her to come up with an idea on how to bring Performing, Arts to students, in Stanislaus, County I wanted, to start with a positive acronym. So, that's why it is called yes, company, youth entertainment. Stage company, because. In acting, and everything you, need to say yes, you. Need to say yes and. Amazing. Things come to you through, that several. Of her students, perform, in Broadway touring, shows now she's. Got opera, stars and. Broadway. Stars and, all sorts of amazing. You, know talent, out there that Melanie cultivated, with this yes company, program tell, it like Aaron ray B who says the yes company opened, the door to his future in, more ways than one, Melanie. Has been not. Only a role model but a. Caring. Adult and a, mother to. Everyone. Who's come through the program, my. Parents divorced at. A very young age and. To. Be able to go through the program and have. An adult, care. For you, genuinely. She, definitely filled, an, emotional. Void in my, life that as you know when you're in your formative, years that you know you need and sets the. Foundation for, relationships, that you have later Erin was in yes company, in high school on stage, playing the lead role in West Side Story, off stage finding, the love of his life Nathalie who sang in the musical Grease he. Credits the yes company for their fifth grade daughter's confidence, inside. And outside the classroom her, public. Speaking ability and, you know the way she can come across and even her, ability to make friends. And put, herself out there there's. All correlations, to what she's learning here after. 27. Years yes company, is changing, we, gratefully, have, been supported, through the Stanislaus, County Office of Education but. Times change. Funding. Sources change. Priorities. Change, of what's.
Important. Or what needs focus. The. Program has grown so. That. I've. Been told it's pretty, much unsustainable. Right now and I. Understand, that the. County Office of Education says, yes company will continue in some capacity in the, meantime Melanie, plans to retire but, hopes to continue working with students, in the performing arts because, she still draws inspiration from, students. Like David I've been at yes company for about a decade now I wouldn't, say it's enriched me so much as I would say that it's made me. Yes. Company has, been an. Absolutely. Defining. Part, of my life I I. Don't, know who I would be if I wasn't part of yes company I have. High expectations. Because. They. Always rise to those expectations a, lot of times people. Second-guess. Children, and look down on them and. They're. Absolutely amazing. They're, amazing what. They can achieve. Yeah. And. That's, it for this edition of inside california, education now. If you'd like more information about the program it's easy just log on to our website at inside. Called--, org, we, have videos from all of our shows and you, can connect with us on social media as well thanks. For joining us we'll see you next time on inside, california, education. Maybe. More. Movie. More. Alright. Funding. For inside California, education, is made possible by since. 1985. The California, Lottery has raised more than thirty two billion dollars in supplemental, funding for California's, 1,100. Public school districts from kindergarten, through college that's. Approximately one, hundred ninety one dollars for, each full-time. Student based on 1.5, billion contributed. In fiscal year 2016-17. With. Caring, teachers committed, administrators, and active, parents every, public school student, can realize, their dreams the, California, Lottery imagine. The possibilities. So. Greg, it's. A lot to take in, and. I know that's hard to hear but the doctors color early. My. Dad has cancer, and. I know how hard that is to hear. But. You're in the right place. Dr. Pascal and her team they know what to do I know what to do the doctors, know what to do so, here's the plan. First, off we're gonna give you all. The. Stewart foundation improving. Life outcomes for young people through education. Additional. Funding for inside, California, education, is made possible by these organizations, supporting. Public education.