First Lady Ligia Fonseca of Cape Verde, the island nation off the coast of Africa, visited with local educators, city officials and business people at the Long Beach Unified School District’s main offices last week to learn more about LBUSD.
Helping to arrange the visit was Bob Barboza of the Barboza Space Center in Long Beach, which is partnering with the school district on science and technology education. Barboza’s father was a native of Cape Verde, and his space center is working to develop educational exchange programs between Cape Verde (also known as Cabo Verde) and the United States.
“I’ve always had the dream that one day our countries would come together. Today is a very important day,” said Barboza, who was among several presenters during the visit. Learn more about his space center and its education programs at http://barbozaspacecenter.com/.
Long Beach Vice Mayor Dee Andrews presented an honorary certificate to the First Lady, who listened to presentations and participated in discussions with Board of Education Member Felton Williams, school district staff and others regarding science and technology education, strategic planning and closing achievement gaps, a community-based approach to improving school attendance, special education services and more.
“I want to thank you for this very important information that we can use in Cabo Verde,” said Fonseca, who acknowledged her nation’s struggles with poverty.
“We have to invest in education,” Fonseca said. “We realize it’s the only chance we have to be an independent country.”