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The Rooted Tour of El Mercardito and

How Gilbert High School’s Community is Growing
Janet Luna Rosales
Three student leaders present at the El Mercardito history station where students had the opportunity to sign up to volunteer.

On Thursday, October 26, 2023, students and staff participated in a tour of the El Mercardito space in Room 44 during third period. Presenters from the OCAPICA youth program called ROOTED, spoke and lead presentations at various stations while participants listened and filled out forms that would eventually qualify one for a raffle ticket and chance to win a prize. The grand prize was a $25 dollar gift card to Target.

Each student presenter shared a different topic at four different stations. The stations included information and discussions on Healthy Food Choices, the history and purpose of El Mercardito, Food Security, and Environmental Justice. Students who were touring were tasked with rating how well the presenters delivered the message, and also with explaining what they learned and how they could advocate for each of the subjects.

The tour felt a little rushed. There was a lot to do, see, and experience, in a short amount of time.  Highlights included history lessons in Food Security, which detailed the impact on such issues here and in other countries.

Gilbert High School is the first community school in our district to have such a space on campus. El Mercardito has become the model for other schools to follow. Students can volunteer to earn community service hours by working in the market space.

“The program is essential for our students to realize they hold the power of change,” said Mrs. Barrios-Gracian, the teacher in charge of student-presenters.

El Mercardito is something very special that will help our community, families, and our school. It sets the precedent for possibilities in making our world a better place. Not many schools have such an opportunity, but after these tours, perhaps more will take notice and pave the way for more change.

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About the Contributors
Gen. Staff, Collaboration Team
Joshua Perea-Diaz
Joshua Perea-Diaz, Staff Writer
Coffee Creamer, applejuice and eggs are the keys to having a happy death.
Amaya Bermudez
Amaya Bermudez, staff writer
Hello! My name is Amaya Bermudez you can call me Mya for short. One of my favorite colors is grey. I am 16 and a junior here at Gilbert.
Nevaeh Redfeather
Nevaeh Redfeather, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Nevaeh Redfeather. I'm 17 years old. I'm a senior here at Gilbert. My favorite color is pink, and I love to go out with friends.
Ali Karboug
Ali Karboug, Staff Writer
  Hello, I am Ali Karboug something about me is that I enjoy journalism very much. It's one of my greatest passions.
Rosa Morales
Rosa Morales, Staff Writer
Hello My name is  Rosa, and I'm a senior at Gilbert High School. Somethings about me is that  I love listening to music, dancing, and my favorite color is purple. I am also a dog mom .
Janet Luna Rosales
Janet Luna Rosales, Editor-in-Chief
I’m Janet! I am a senior at Gilbert and this is my second year in Journalism. I am also the Editor-in-Chief for the Gladiator Times News Team! :3

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