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Local teachers head to the border to rally for the education of migrant children

This weekend, thousands of teachers are expected to rally in El Paso, Texas in hopes of bringing awareness to the thousands of migrant children still waiting to be reunited with their families.

EDGEWATER, Colo. — In the past year and a half, thousands of migrant children were separated from their parents at the U.S.- Mexico border. 

While that policy has ended, the government is still working to reunite some of these families. In the meantime, thousands of children sit in detention centers, waiting. 

In hopes of keeping their education on track, teachers from across the nation will head to El Paso this weekend where they'll raise money and collect books for these kids. Twenty of those teachers will be from Colorado.

"They've been in there for so long, they really don't feel like anyone cares,” Christine Trujillo-Heeke said. “We want to say we care and we're watching and we're trying."

Trujillo-Heeke is a bilingual teacher at Edgewater Elementary. She’s been an educator for the past twenty years and said she felt compelled to go this weekend.

"I've been in this career for a long period of time and so it's in my DNA to care about people regardless of zip code, regardless of who they are,” she said. “If they're in need, I think it's in teachers' DNA to care and want to do something about it."

Trujillo-Heeke is part of the National Education Association Hispanic Caucus, the group helping to put this weekend’s humanitarian efforts together.

"Those kids are not in Colorado but they still need something,” Trujillo-Heeke said. “For kids that I can't touch, I can't feed, this is my way to say, again I care and there are other people that care."

Some of Trujillo-Heeke coworkers will also go with her to El Paso.

"I felt moved to make a difference, to contribute in any way that I could,” Melissa McKibben said.

McKibben has been a teacher at Edgewater Elementary for the past seven years.

Credit: KUSA

"I think teachers see ourselves as public servants and we want to do what we can and provide our expertise and our knowledge to support whoever is in need,” she said. “Any age, any race, any person. I'm in a position to be able to provide hope. I'm hoping to provide that to the kids. They're our future."

The teachers are using their own money to pay for the trip. Trujillo-Heeke said she expects thousand to be there.

“We're reaching out,” she said. “We care about their education. Education is the thing that will empower them to do better and be better for themselves. It's not their fault. It's not their fault."

The group of teachers will volunteer and collect donations on Saturday, which will then go to organizations that support education for the children in detention centers.

They'll end the trip on Sunday with rally.

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