ELL News Headlines

Throughout the week, Colorín Colorado gathers news headlines related to English language learners from around the country. The ELL Headlines are posted Monday through Friday and are available for free!

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Cleveland Students Lead Initiative to Diversify School Libraries

When three Cleveland seventh graders read Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming, the Citizens Leadership Academy (CLA) students didn't know about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement in the publishing world. They had never heard about mirrors and windows. Kiara Ransaw, James Kline, and Jayla Henderson knew only this: They had never read a book like this before, and they had never felt like this about a book before. That connection and realization sparked an idea for a project that grew beyond anyone’s expectations.

A Trauma Therapist on the Anguish Immigrant Families Feel When They're Separated

Jenifer Wolf Williams is a trauma therapist based in Richardson. In recent years, she's helped immigrants separated from their loved ones — from families applying for asylum to children who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Williams says families who've been separated likely won't start healing until after they're reunited.

ELL Student Numbers Increasing in Mississippi

According to a release by the Mississippi Department of Education, the number of English Language Learners is slowly on the rise across the state. "Spanish is the most prevalent language spoken by English learners in Mississippi, but more than 20 other languages are also represented. After Spanish, the most common languages spoken by English Learner students in Mississippi are Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese and Gujarati," the MDE release states.

Common Sense Media Overhauls Popular Digital Citizenship Curriculum

One of the most widely used K-12 digital-citizenship curriculum in the country is getting an overhaul — further evidence of the growing challenge schools face in dealing with fake news and helping students understand the ethical concerns surrounding big technology and social-media companies.

From the Border to Pittsburgh: The Journeys of Two Unaccompanied Migrant Children

Surrounded by loved ones in June, Bartolo Garcia, 21, and Andrea Mendez Peraza, 19, moved their tassels to the left side of their mortarboards to become high school graduates in Pittsburgh in a ceremonial rite of passage. But a few years ago, life brought them to a different vital crossroads — the U.S.-Mexico border — all by themselves. Bartolo and Andrea are strangers with a similar path: They both crossed the U.S. southwestern border a few weeks after their 16th birthdays — in 2013 and 2015, respectively — joining the thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.

'Black Panther' by Ronald L. Smith | SLJ Audio Review

T'Challa is the prince of Wakanda. He grew up with his father, Black Panther. When things heat up at home, his father sends him to America for safety with his friend M'Baku. The boys attend a Chicago high school, where the class bully, Gemini Jones, becomes possessed by a dark, evil magic. To save the school, T'Challa must don the tech suit and vibranium ring he was given for emergencies. Can he keep his secret identity and save the day? Dion Graham's voices are unique and easy to distinguish. Graham does a great job with pacing and building of the characters. The masterful portrayal of the feelings of drama, angst, adrenaline, and worry will hook listeners from start to finish. The plot is engaging, well written, and draws the listener into the world of the Black Panther.

Native YA: Four Native American Authors on Their Messages for Teens

School Library Journal asked four Native YA authors—Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), Dawn Quigley (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe), Eric Gansworth (Onondaga), and Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee [Creek])—four questions about Native books for teens and their own roles as storytellers and educators.

Brooklyn Students Send Supplies to Puerto Rican School

A Spanish teacher at a Downtown Brooklyn charter school was devastated hearing about the destruction reeked by Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, which took down her mother's home on the island. Isamar Rosado-Aponte felt lost being so far away from her former home, but her students at Brooklyn Prospect Downtown Elementary School helped her get through it. That impulse to help eventually turned into the Borinquen Backpack Project, during which the kids sent backpacks stuffed with school supplies to Puerto Rican students whose campus was destroyed in the storm and sent letters pleading the federal government for help.

Mighty Writers Sends 100 Spanish-Language Children's Books to Immigrants Detained in Berks County

Picking up a bookmark reading, "You have friends in the United States // Tienes un amigo en los Estados Unidos," 10-year-old Jocylyn began to draw a pink and yellow flower amid the printed lettering. Next, she drew a sun, followed by a line of blue rain, finishing with a grassy layer beneath the flower's stem. "The flower is starting to fall, but then the rain comes down onto it and gives it strength to pick itself back up," said Jocylyn. "I want the kid who sees this to feel the same way." Jocylyn was one of 30 Latino children who gathered at Mighty Writers' El Futuro location on Thursday to craft personal messages and designs on 700 bookmarks. Destined for immigrant detention centers across the country, each bookmark will be paired with a Spanish-language children's book and sent out by Mighty Writers, a local nonprofit that works to develop writing skills among youths at six Philadelphia locations.

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