Pittsboro, NC – In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Chatham 250 will highlight the incredible story of Jordan-Matthews High School’s Los Jets soccer team by presenting a special exhibit to Chatham County Schools students. The mobile version of the N.C. Museum of History’s 2016 Los Jets: Playing for the American Dream will be presented to eight Chatham County schools. Chatham 250 hopes that the powerful story of Los Jets’ determination and resiliency will inspire and bring hope to all Chatham County residents and particularly the county’s Hispanic/Latinx youth.
The exhibit is based on the book, A Home on the Field: How One Championship Soccer Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America, by Los Jets coach Paul Cuadros. The book tells the story of the Los Jets soccer team’s formation and victory as the 2004 N.C. State Men’s Soccer Class A Champions. As the first predominantly Latino sports team to win a statewide sports championship in North Carolina, Los Jets left an enduring legacy in the community and across the United States.
“Los Jets is an important story of how Chatham County’s Latino/Hispanic community excels and exceeds expectations – kids who came here, made their home here, and became champions. This story is an example of the potential of Chatham County and its Hispanic/Latino community,” said Cuadros.
The planning committee overseeing Chatham County’s 250th anniversary hopes that incorporating the exhibit into the celebration activities brings the team’s monumental contribution to the forefront.
“There is no better way to honor Hispanic Heritage month during Chatham County’s 250th anniversary than to tell this iconic story of the 2004 Jordan-Mathews State Championship Soccer team,” says Dr. Carl Thompson, Sr., Chatham 250 Co-Chair and Senior Pastor at Word of Life Church. “This team’s determination, grit, and perseverance transcends culture, instilling in all of our young people the values of unity, courage, and determination.”
The mobile exhibit will be presented at eight Chatham County Schools – Chatham Grove Elementary School, Silk Hope School, Bonlee School, Chatham Middle School, Siler City Elementary, Virginia Cross Elementary, North Chatham Elementary and Jordan-Matthews High School – during Hispanic Heritage Month. At the exhibit, students will have an opportunity to explore the bi-lingual museum materials which includes photos and stories of the Jordan-Matthews’ 2004 Men’s Soccer Class A Championship, their head coach Paul Cuadros and Siler City’s Hispanic community in the early 1990s. Students will then participate in an interactive soccer ball activity complimented by a facilitated group conversation about teamwork and creating communities where everyone belongs and is respected.
“I look forward to bringing the Los Jets exhibit to Chatham Middle School as a way to honor the historical impact of the Jordan-Matthews’ soccer team,” says Chad Morgan, Principal of Chatham Middle School. “It is important for students to know the history of their community, and this is a unique opportunity for our students to learn the amazing impact of Los Jets and the pride it built in our community. Hopefully, the exhibit will inspire students to build their own history.”
Students also will have access to the introduction of A Home on the Field and the documentary series Los Jets, co-executive produced by Jennifer Lopez and Lynda Lopez for NUVOtv, inspired by Cuadros’ book.
Chatham 250 wants to thank many people for making the Los Jets mobile exhibit possible, including the N.C. Museum of History for generously sharing the exhibit materials with Chatham 250, Chatham County Schools for their partnership in bringing this mobile exhibit to students across the County, Communities in Schools of Chatham County for their support in presenting the exhibit at the schools; and the Chatham 250 Sponsors – Duke Energy, Chatham Hospital, Mosaic, Mountaire Farms, and BOLD – for their financial support for Chatham 250 events and activities.
Anyone with questions may contact Hilary Pollan, Chatham 250 Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about events and other ways to celebrate Chatham County’s 250th anniversary can be found at www.chatham250.com.