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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In Some Cities, Closing Achievement Gaps Is Not for Schools to Fix Alone

Salem — and a handful of other small- to mid-size cities — is blurring the lines between the role the school district and the city play in children's lives. It's main vehicle for that work is City Connects, a student-support system that city and school officials rolled out in pre-K-8 schools last year. The idea is that focusing on student's individual needs in four areas — academics, health, family, and social-emotional well-being — and matching them with the right kinds of assistance and enrichment programs, will lead to more successful citizens in the long run.

Column: Why Educators Still Need to Talk About 9/11 — and Islamophobia

Rusul Alrubail is the executive director of The Writing Project. In this column, she writes, "I was in 10th grade living in Toronto when 9/11 happened. We were in art class and an office announcement came on that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. Students around me were shocked and some concerned for their families in New York. Later that day on the bus going home, a student looked at my friend, my sister and me, who all wear a hijab (a head cover that some Muslim women wear), and said, 'Do you guys know what happened? I heard your people did it.'"

The Key to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's Successful Journey? It's Books, She Says

She has one of the most influential positions in the country, but as a girl who did not grow up privileged, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor credits her incredible journey to one thing. "The key to success in my life, it's the secret that I want to share with kids and how I became successful. I'm here as a Supreme Court Justice only because of books," said Sotomayor. An avid reader growing up, Sotomayor's new book for young readers, "Turning Pages: My Life Story," is a richly illustrated book featuring illustrations by Lulu Delacre that chronicles her life growing up in New York City. "Reading books opened the world to me. Especially for children growing up in modest means as I did, books give you the chance to explore the wider world."

From Poverty to Rocket Scientist to CEO, A Girl Scout's Inspiring Story

Sylvia Acevedo grew up on a dirt road in New Mexico. Her family was poor, living "paycheck to paycheck." After a meningitis outbreak in her Las Cruces neighborhood nearly killed her younger sister, her mother moved the family to a different neighborhood. At her new school, young Acevedo knew no one. Until a classmate convinced her to become a Brownie Girl Scout. And from that moment, she says, her life took on a new path.

Trump Administration Proposes Rule to Allow Longer Detention of Migrant Children

The Trump administration is proposing to lift court-imposed limits on how long it can hold children in immigration detention. Under proposed regulations set to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, the administration seeks to replace the Flores settlement, a decades-old agreement that dictates how long the government can hold migrant children, and under what conditions.

Strategies Can Help English Language Learners Deal With Transition Shock

Transition shock – defined in an Edutopia article as “an umbrella term that incorporates culture shock, chronic distress, traumatic upset, and post-traumatic stress disorder”— can affect many students in physiological, behavioral, and emotional ways; however, it especially affects English language learners (ELLs) because of the ways brain development impacts language development and learning capacity. Several strategies, which can also benefit other students affected by trauma and chronic stress, include providing students with a calm, organized class environment with regular schedules and seeking out student strengths to build confidence in themselves and trust in others.

State Continues to Struggle to Recruit Teachers of English Learners

Over 2,000 students have come to Connecticut from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. Many of them have settled in Connecticut's biggest cities, and their arrival has highlighted the need for more teachers who speak Spanish and who are certified to teach English language learners, or ELLs.

How This Boston Nonprofit Is Helping Kids in the Caribbean Learn To Read

Ave Weekes-Stephens had her work cut out for her the day she took over as principal in 2010 at Cane End Government School, a primary school in St. Vincent in the Eastern Caribbean. The school had very few books. There was no library. Many kids struggled with reading. "The students' literacy levels were way below their age and grade level," she said. So she set her sights on creating a school library, which seemed like an uphill task since reading materials were limited. A lack of resources has historically dogged the island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a mountainous enclave lapped by a turquoise sea, where 30 percent of residents live in poverty. Weekes-Stephens said she noticed a turnaround at Cane End Government after the school, working with a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, got connected in 2012 with a nonprofit called Hands Across the Sea, and new books started appearing in her library. Not old, yellowed books discarded by tourists. They were titles the kids wanted to read like "Shauna's Hurricane" by Francine Jacobs and the "Junie. B. Jones" series.

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