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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"American Born Chinese" Opens Windows and Shines Mirrors | SLJ Summit 2017

At Jesuit High School (JHS) in Portland, OR, Gene Luen Yang's Printz Award–winning graphic novel American Born Chinese has opened the door to discussions about race and identity. During the "Using Graphic Novels To Develop Racial Literacy in Teens" panel at SLJ's October 7 Leadership Summit in Nashville, educators and high school seniors at JHS expounded on how the book facilitated conversations and led to often painful realizations. Though National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Yang was also on hand, it was the teens' insightful comments that had the greatest impact on the day's conversations.

Wyoming Latinas Encouraged to Pursue STEM

Celebrating its 17th year, the Wyoming Latina Youth Conference hosted young Wyoming women of Hispanic descent for two days of programming in Laramie on October 13 and 14. The theme this year was, "embracing leadership, science, and creativity."

How Minnesota's Somali Community Is Mobilizing to Help Mogadishu Bombing Victims

Minneapolis resident Ahmed Hirsi was only a few miles away from the powerful blast that killed hundreds of people in Mogadishu last Saturday. Now, Hirsi — who is married to Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar — is part of a growing effort led by various Somali-American individuals and organizations in the Twin Cities aimed at assisting victims and families they left behind in Somalia. "I plan to meet with young people in the community to talk about what we could do for the country," Hirsi said. "Fire trucks, ambulances, supplies for hospitals and other things." (See this collection of multilingual tips on talking about violence with kids, including a version in Somali, for more guidance.)

Norton Museum Partners with Schools in Hopes of Reaching Hispanic Audience

While expanding its campus, the Norton Museum is also adding programs to include the ever-growing Latino population in the Palm Beach County. Apart from adding an audio guide in Spanish, bilingual family programs and tours, the Norton Museum has partnered with the International Spanish Academy (ISA), a dual language program provided in schools throughout the county where students receive lesson plans in English and Spanish.

Philly's Refugee and Immigrant Families Are Connecting Through Community Soccer

It was a dreary Sunday at first, as clouds hung over Tarken Rec Center in Castor Gardens. It even rained briefly, though that didn't stop members of Philly Open Soccer from setting up nets throughout the playground. After all, they'd already been rained out twice. This time, the weather held out and about 50 families made their way to the community event. Children as young as five could be seen kicking and tossing soccer balls around, their parents cheering them on as they made constant goals. Many of them arrived very recently to the United States.

Mainland Schools Receive Puerto Rican Students—and Educators—With Open Arms

When Edgardo Ortiz boarded a flight from Puerto Rico to Florida on Oct. 7, with his wife and 9-year-old daughter, he didn’t have a concrete plan for what would happen next. At Orlando International Airport, the family ran into Bridget Williams, the chief of staff for the Orange County school system, who, along with other district staffers, had set up a table at the airport five days earlier to greet Puerto Rican evacuees. They were there to inform them about schooling options and social services available in the Orlando area. Williams perked up when she overheard that Ortiz and his wife taught physics and chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico. By the end of the encounter, Ortiz and his wife had job offers to teach science at one of the district's high schools. The couple may start teaching as early as next week.

Raising Kings: A New Series from NPR and Education Week

They're called "kings." All freshmen. All young men of color. And all determined to upend the dominant narrative about young black men in Washington, D.C. Their public high school — the all-male Ron Brown College Prep — is designed specifically to meet their needs. And for many of the young men, their needs are profound. Two reporters, Education Week's Kavitha Cardoza and NPR's Cory Turner, spent hundreds of hours with teachers, students, and parents from the school's earliest days to the final bell. These three episodes tell the story of Ron Brown's first year.

As Fires Move On, Wine Country Wonders Whether Immigrants Will, Too

Some 5,700 houses and structures have been destroyed and many more damaged by the blazes that barreled through Northern California last week. About 100,000 people were displaced, temporarily or permanently. It is still too early to know how many of them were immigrants, who are in the most precarious position of any group. Because many of them are in the country illegally, they are ineligible for most disaster aid, raising concerns that those without places to live will move to other regions where housing is more plentiful and cheaper.

For English-Learners, a Positive Side to Peer Pressure

For students who are still learning English and those who are immigrants, forging even small connections with educators and their classmates—as simple as a hallway conversation—can be crucial to keeping those students coming to school and motivated to persevere, both educators and researchers say.