More than three weeks into what's now the longest federal government shutdown in history, school district officials are making plans to cope with the impacts on students, families, and their own operations should it drag on.
Eddie Ramirez says he and his wife Norma have 142 kids. The U.S. Army veteran and retired City of Poughkeepsie teacher have 36-year-old and 39-year-old biological sons. The rest are students they've supported over 20 years throughout the Hudson Valley. "We would pick up the newspaper and see the high school honor rolls throughout the Hudson Valley area and I would count the amount of Hispanic names in these honor rolls," Ramirez said. "I was astonished that there weren't many listed." It was then that the two decided they would create what ultimately became the Hudson Valley Latino Scholarship program.
The partial federal government shutdown has now stretched into its 24th day, and is the longest in history. And if negotiations between President Donald Trump and Congress over a potential border wall continue to falter, states could find themselves in a tight spot when it comes to funding one of the most important programs for poor children—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF—as well as other federal child-care benefits.
Three weeks into a partial government shutdown that has stalled nine federal departments, Nargess Lakehal-Ayat spends her days at home, fielding questions from her 12-year-old son that she’s unable to answer. That’s how Lakehal-Ayat found herself Friday, on the shutdown’s 21st day, in a nondescript government building in Falls Church, Va., one of about 200 federal workers who applied to become substitute teachers in Fairfax County School District during a hiring event for furloughed workers.
A team of school leaders recently completed an exploratory look into the possible implementation of a foreign language program at the elementary level, as part of the district's ongoing mission to create global citizens and promote cultural competency. If approved through the budget process, students kindergarten through fifth grade might see Spanish integrated into everyday education.
The 12-year-old wore a pink Disney princess backpack that said, "We Can Do ANYTHING," as she hugged her mom for the first time in eight months. It was a moment Vilma Carrillo feared would never come. US immigration authorities separated Carrillo from her daughter, Yeisvi, after they crossed the border together in May 2018. But even though a federal judge last year ordered the US government to reunite most of the immigrant families it separated, advocates said this mother and daughter weren't covered by that ruling. That's because Carrillo was born in Guatemala, but her daughter was born in the United States. Because Yeisvi is a US citizen, she couldn't be reunited with her mother in immigrant detention, as other parents and children were.
The new integrated system for English Language Learners at the McGlynn Middle School has led to behavioral and educational improvements. Recent changes to the teaching model for English Language Learners at the middle school level have led to educational improvements for native and non-native English speakers, school officials announced at the Jan. 14 School Committee meeting.
In the past decade, the popularity of the seal of biliteracy has surged across the country. What started out as an effort to promote educational equity for English-language learners in California may be morphing into something else as more states pass legislation that honors high school graduates who demonstrate fluency in two or more languages. For English-language learner advocates and foreign language instructors, the national embrace of bilingualism is a welcome sight. But a big unanswered question remains: Bilingualism for whom?
There is a particular magic to 'Lotería,' the card game, sometimes described as Mexican bingo and played by generations of Hispanic children, that lasts well into adulthood. It can transport you to an abuela's house in Mexico, to a cousin's birthday party in Texas, to a babysitter's backyard in California. But it can also make you wince. Last year, as Mike Alfaro shuffled through an old deck of the game — notable for its folk-art drawings — he blanched at one image of "La Dama," the lady. The card showed an affluent woman in an old-fashioned full-length skirt-suit, weighed down by flowers and a clutch. It struck him as symbolic of antiquated views about gender and identity within the Latino community. How would this young Hispanic woman identify in 2018, in the United States? He looked at other cards, some with undercurrents of racism and classism. What about those? So began the process of reimagining 'Lotería' for a new generation in America, with new cards and a message to better fit the times.
Erin Entrada Kelly is an author of children's literature and was awarded the 2018 John Newberry Medal by the Association for Library Service to Children for her third novel, Hello, Universe. Her new critically acclaimed book, You Go First, is an exploration of life as a middle schooler through "family, bullying, word games, art."