ELL News Headlines

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Best of 2018: #KidsNeedBooks Twitter Campaign Helping Students and Schools in Need

Ann Braden didn't mean to start a movement. The former middle school teacher, whose debut middle grade novel, The Benefits of Being an Octopus, will be published in September, simply had a stack of books from a recent conference and remembered a recent Donalyn Miller Nerdy Book Club post. It's not complicated, Miller wrote, kids need access to books. With that inspiration, Braden decided to offer her stack of books to a teacher or librarian whose students needed them. In early May, she posted a picture of the books on Twitter, asked teachers or librarians to reply if they wanted a chance to win them, and added the hashtag #KidsNeedBooks. She figured she would randomly select a winner, ship the books off, and that would be the end of it. Only that's not exactly what happened.

Best of 2018: North Carolina Teacher Is Changing the Lives of Her ESL Students — and Their Families

A group of North Carolina parents walk into Irvin Elementary School in Concord, armed with homemade tamales, tacos, enchiladas, pozole and their children — little Allen and Briana, Alison and Alexander — in tow, for an all-Spanish-language Cinco de Mayo teacher appreciation party. They may have given their children English names, but these parents struggle with English. Astrid Emily Francis, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, hopes the party feels welcoming; for some of the immigrant parents it will be the first time they have walked into the school. Because of the language barrier, coming to school can be intimidating, but tonight they’ll serve and eat with the teachers. They might even play Spanish B-I-N-G-O, and the parents will help the teachers find the right pictures on the cards.

Best of 2018: National Teacher of the Year Shares Immigrant Students' Stories with White House

President Donald Trump thanked teachers for their dedication in a short speech in the historic East Room of the White House on Wednesday.  He was speaking to a crowd of renowned teachers and their family members. The teachers had all received their state's highest honor in 2018. The National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, stood behind Trump as he delivered his remarks. Manning teaches newly arrived immigrant and refugee students in Washington state. She told Education Week that she had her students write letters to the White House to share their stories—from bureaucratic red tape splitting up families to being told to "go back to Africa." 

After Years In Refugee Camps, A Family Celebrates Its First Christmas In The U.S.

It's a familiar scene: a family gathering on a Sunday afternoon, the kids off playing somewhere in the house. But in the kitchen, conversations in Swahili fill the room. Cecil Furaha, 30, uses a rolling pin as a pestle to crush ginger for her version of pilau, a popular rice dish. She is joined by Sharon Fine, one of the first people she met when she arrived in America. Furaha, her husband, Saidi Roger, 33, and their seven kids have been in the U.S. for three months. Their home in Silver Spring, Md., is a cozy three-story condo at the end of a cul-de-sac. The inside is fully furnished with donations from volunteers. A homemade sign with the word karibu hangs prominently on the wall at the end of their dinner table. It means "welcome" in Swahili. Furaha says she feels safe here. But life was not always that way.

The Night Before Christmas, Latin Style

It's a Weekend Edition Saturday holiday favorite: "A Visit from St. Nicholas" with a Latin twist. Claudio Sanchez reads the poem. "I ran to the window and looked out, afuera. And who in the world do you think that it era?"

A boy separated from his mom at the border faces his first Christmas without her

More than 2,500 migrant children were taken from their parents at the border earlier this year under the Trump administration’s now abandoned “zero tolerance” immigration policy. After months of court orders and administrative chaos, the majority of these children have been reunited with their parents — some in Central America but most in the United States. In more than 200 cases, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, deported parents have made the painful decision to leave their separated sons or daughters behind in the hope that they will have a better life in America.

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