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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Big impact of Little Amal

At 12 feet tall, Little Amal is hard to miss. But the towering puppet, who represents a 10-year-old Syrian refugee searching for her mother, has already had an outsized impact on people worldwide as she carries a message of hope for marginalized people everywhere.

Amid youth mental health crisis, a Colorado district creates a school for students who need more support

Next month, the Cherry Creek School District will open a first-of-its-kind facility — part school, part therapeutic mental health facility — to meet the needs of students in crisis. The number of facilities in Colorado that serve students with intense mental health or behavioral needs has drastically dwindled over the past 20 years, leaving many children without critical care. The new Traverse Academy is an effort to address that problem.

What Newbery Medalist authors discussed with Kenyan kids

Author and illustrator Jerry Craft, who won a Newbery Medal for his graphic novel The New Kid, had never been to Africa. The New York City native had also never visited a school outside of the United States. So he had no clue what to expect from students when he arrived at Nyaani Primary School in the rural Kenyan village of Wamunyu in July. "They were singing and dancing. And then we all stood up one by one and they gave us Swahili names," says Craft, who was dubbed "Nyeusi," which means "Black." It was quite the introduction for Craft and the rest of the literacy team assembled by his buddy Kwame Alexander, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 39 books, including Newbery Medal-winner The Undefeated.

'Mexikid’ and ‘Salsa Magic’ Drive Latino Kids to Their Roots

Two middle grade debuts — the brilliant graphic memoir MEXIKID, by Pedro Martín, based on his web comic of the same name; and the richly textured novel SALSA MAGIC, by Letisha Marrero — explore how first-gen kids are empowered by the stories and experiences of their forebears. In the opening pages of “Mexikid,” Martín riffs on his first name: “They call me Peter … but my real name is Pedro. … Some people go full-on Mexican and keep their real names. Some of us slip and slide between an American-style name and a Mexican one.”

Some parents in Lahaina fight to keep their school — and kids — together

On a hot morning in Lahaina a few weeks after the wildfires, some 500 parents, teachers and students gathered under an outdoor tent, spilling onto the lawn. Keith Hayashi — superintendent for Hawaii public schools — faced a tough crowd as he tried to reassure parents that the Department of Education (DOE) will make the right calls when it comes to reopening schools.

This California high school includes sustainability and green jobs in its curriculum

Porterville is a predominantly Hispanic working-class town in the Central Valley of California, where environmental hazards include some of the worst air quality in the state; the past year’s torrential rains that inundated hundreds of acres of farmland; and a heat wave that pushed temperatures past 110 degrees Fahrenheit this July. But Porterville has this going for it: Its school district pioneered a partnership with Climate Action Pathways for Schools, or CAPS, a nonprofit that aims to help high school students become more environmentally aware while simultaneously lowering their school’s carbon footprint and earning wages.