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Books del Sur curates Latin America Spanish-language literature to support dual language curriculum.
Books del Sur curates Latin America Spanish-language literature to support dual language curriculum.
image of a child with a food mustache

Valuing Low Income Kindergartners Knowledge

Articles like this, "This Is How Behind Low-Income Children Can Be When They Enter Kindergarten" from the Huffington Post that is the motivation behind Our Libros a Casa Program, a home literacy program where the parents are the first teachers.

The article references Sesame Workshop's analysis of a Department of Education study.  Their analysis identifies four risk factors that impact the abilities of kindergarten students.  One of the risk factors is - the child lived in a home where English was not the primary spoken language.  It is so disappointing that this is described as a risk factor.  I am a bilingual white female and NEVER in my life has anyone ever said to me, "Oh, you speak two languages - what a bummer."  

In fact, it is always quite the opposite; however, our society continues to punish children for having two languages.

Programs like Libros a Casa home literacy programs in students "home" language promote growth in key concepts and vocabulary and therefore prepare our young children for school.  However, articles like this remind me that even though preschool literacy in children's first language can help students - we also need to change our monolinguistic system so that student's knowledge is valued. Solutions like dual language programs exist in our country and I'm ready for US to embrace them!

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Marla Perfect - January 8, 2019

We started a dual language program in the school district of Waukesha, WI in one school in the fall of 2009. I was the very first teacher. Not only had it been embraced by the community, but it has flourished. We now have 4 dual language schools in the district and the kids in that very first class are now high school freshmen. We are very proud of this program.

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