The New Coloradans
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The New Coloradans is a compelling half-hour documentary produced by Rocky Mountain PBS in association with, and with funding provided by, The Piton Foundation. It was developed as a companion to the PBS national miniseries The New Americans, which first aired on PBS in 2004.
The New Coloradans looks specifically at the large influx of Mexican immigrants who are painting a new landscape for the city of Denver and communities across Colorado. The documentary looks at what these immigrants from Mexico go through to get here, what their lives are like here, and the challenges they face in learning a new language and culture.
After The New Coloradans aired on public television, The Piton Foundation worked with the Center for Education in Law and Democracy to develop curricula to accompany the documentary for use in middle schools and high schools. Two curricula -- for high school and middle school -- were developed to help Colorado students understand the complexity of the immigration issue in our state and nationally, to raise awareness of varying perspectives on the issue, and engage students in a way that will encourage them to keep informed on issues and advocate for their own views. The curricula include a DVD of The New Coloradans and lessons covering the history of immigration in Colorado, immigration in our state today, the economic impact of immigrants, immigration reform proposals, and guest-worker programs. In its second year of use, the curricula have been used by more than 300 teachers in Colorado and over 2,000 students.