NDNU Students Stage Carnival for Migrant Worker Children in Soledad

Belmont, CA, October 9, 2008 — About 70 students, nearly half the freshman class, from Notre Dame de Namur University will travel to Soledad, CA this Sunday to put on a carnival for  the children of migrant farm workers. Staff workers from Dorothy’s Place, which coordinates many programs in the Jimenez and Camphora farm labor camps, will assist at the event, but the majority of the event is planned and run by the students. About 100-150 children from the camps are expected to attend the event, which will run from 12 to 3 p.m.

Students will connect with the children through many fun activities, including a bounce house, face painting, chalk art, cake walk, temporary tattoos, basketball and soccer clinics, and mini pumpkin designing. A few students will also act as translators. Traditional carnival fare will also be served, including hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones. While the event is primarily for the benefit of the children, First Year Experience coordinator Vince Fitzgerald expects this to help his students as well. “We want this to be a learning and eye-opening experience for them,” says Fitzgerald. Adults will also be served, with facilities available for medical screening.

The farm labor camps are located between Soledad and Gonzales on McCoy Rd., east of Highway 101. The site is north of Camphora-Gloria Rd, and adjacent to the southern boundary of the State Correctional Training Facility. They house 80 adults and 120-200 children, ages 0-15, in 40 units, according to an annual census prepared in October by Dorothy’s Place.