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School to use picture book to lure Latinos to college

MERCED, Calif. (AP): Educators in Merced are using fotonovelas, graphic novels popular in México, to attract Latino students to the local junior college.

Merced College began distribution of a pocket-sized book entitled “College, It's Worth It: The Story of Antonio Vásquez,” which chronicles the tale of a recent high school graduate who chooses to pursue a college education to become a teacher rather than work in the fields with his father.

The colorful books are aimed at boosting the number of Latino males at the school, Merced College President Benjamin Durán said. Last spring semester, just 1,802 Latino males were enrolled, among a total population of 13,183 students, college officials said.

“Latino men, often when they get out of high school, tend to go to work immediately,'' Durán said. ``We think traditionally they get their information from media other than newspapers, television and radio.''

Last year, Durán collaborated with local law enforcement to create another fotonovela that told the tragic, fictional story of a Latino family recruited to manufacture methamphetamine for a rural drug lord.






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