ELL News Headlines

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Books on wheels: When the library comes to the homeless shelter

As Denecia and her 9-year-old daughter Elianna browse through the rows of books in this special branch of the Queens Library, both begin to beam. She’s actually kind of "old school" when it comes to books, Denecia says. Ever since she was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, she found the local library a special place, an escape both from digital noise and some of the other tumult in her life. A combination of factors, including the loss of her job and the costs of finding child care, left Denecia and her two children, including her 6-year-old Elise, without a home over a year ago. Today the Queens mobile library has come to her, parking outside the family shelter where she and 254 other families now live.

How 'Sesame Street' is still supporting families, 50 years after its debut

November marks the 50th anniversary of public television's "Sesame Street," a cultural landmark widely praised for its approach to children's programming. But beyond the songs and fun, "Sesame Street" does some serious work for those in need, providing special support and guidance for military families and addressing topics like autism and addiction. Hari Sreenivasan reports.

How they got to 'Sesame Street': Interview with original cast member from NJ, Bob McGrath

Bob Johnson was one of the four original human cast members of "Sesame Street," and a fixture on the show for 45 of its 50 years. "Beyond question, 'Sesame Street' was the number one thing of my life," said McGrath, who will be appearing on "Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration" at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, on HBO, the show's home since 2016, and on PBS on Nov. 17.

The Latino Teacher-Student Divide: 5 Steps to Close the Gap

Latino students are the largest ethnic group in U.S. public schools, representing 25 percent of the overall population. Yet, Latinos make up only 9 percent of the nation's teaching corps. While demographic gaps exist between all nonwhite student populations and teachers, the gap for Latinos is the largest, a new report from New America's Education Policy Program shows. Despite the fact the number of K-12 Latino teachers has more than quadrupled over the last three decades, the growth has not kept pace with the rise in student population.

Author celebrates natural black hair in new children's book

By her account, by the time she was in her late 20s about 10 years ago, Mechal Renee Roe had grown used to almost daily questions lobbed at her and stares cast at her by coworkers. But at the World Natural Hair Show in College Park, GA, Roe found herself surrounded by black women like herself with different natural hairstyles — from 'fro hawks to Bantu knots — all of them sampling grooming products made specifically for natural black hair. That's when the seeds for Roe's new children's picture book, "Happy Hair," were planted. Originally self-published in 2014, Random House picked up the book a year ago and gave it national release in October.

Another Victim of the California Wildfires: Education

Thousands of Californians are being forced from their homes and hundreds of thousands more are without power as wildfires spread rapidly across the state, fueled by dry, windy conditions. Overshadowed by the threats to lives and landmarks and property, the fires are also disrupting things like local economies, the delivery of social services and education, with students increasingly missing more class time as a result.

Mrs. Silvia Campos-Ortiz is October’s Excellent Educator

For October, we introduce you to a kindergarten teacher in Arlington who is going above and beyond to make sure her students get a quality education. For more than 20 years, Mrs. Silvia Campos-Ortiz has made it her goal to give her young students she calls her children the tools they need for a better future. Campos-Ortiz says she has a special bond with each one of her kindergartners. She teaches them English as a second language at Veda Knox Elementary in Arlington. She says kindergarten is the base of their learning foundation.