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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Solar Power Fuels Science at Bilingual Education Center

Gerard Kovach had a simple goal: to teach his bilingual middle school students the concepts of solar energy. The major obstacle: a lack of funds at his school for teaching materials. His idea, taken from a course he'd attended at Chicago's Adler Planetarium, was to let the kids team up to build model-sized solar-powered race cars. So Kovach submitted a proposal to DonorsChoose.org, a site that matches classroom needs submitted by public school teachers with people willing to fund them. Within a couple of weeks, the proposal had accumulated the $860 that he needed to obtain the kits from the organization, and the solar experiments have begun.

Hispanic Law Students Help Others up

Siria Gutierrez remembers opening the door to her honors English class in her first year of junior college and thinking, "Whoa — where are all the brown people?" Not there. And there weren't many when she got to UNLV's Boyd School of Law last year, either, just three of 60 in her class. That's why she became president of La Voz, the school's association for Hispanic law students. The group helps Hispanic and other minority Las Vegas Valley high school students graduate and go to college.

Being Young And Arab In Post-Sept. 11 America

In his new book, <em>How Does It Feel To Be A Problem? Being Young and Arab in America</em>, Moustafa Bayoumi delves into the rich, complicated lives of seven men and women who are completely different in every way but two: They're all from Brooklyn, and they're all Arab. Their stories are American stories, with kaleidoscopic views.

Woman Helps Keep Hispanics in School

Back-to-school time for Maria Gonzalez means Friday evenings in a church basement, surrounded by 30 teens chattering in a mix of English and Spanish. She pushes them to excel in school, though she is not a teacher. She coaches the students in dance, though she is not a dancer. Gonzalez, 50, is a woman who has assigned herself a mission: to improve graduation rates and college attendance of her community's Hispanic youth.

'Coqui' Children's Book Sings

Growing up in Bethlehem's Marvine-Pembroke low-income housing development, Marisa de Jesus Paolicelli says the best time of the week was when the bookmobile came. "I've always loved to read. I would get lost in books where I could go off in other worlds," says the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants. But it wasn't until recently that Paolicelli finally had a chance to share her joy for the things that she loves most — reading and her Puerto Rican heritage — and she did it through her colorful children's book "There's a Coqui in My Shoe!"

Childhood Poverty Increasing in Massachusetts

The number of children in the state living in poverty is increasing, pushing Massachusetts lower in the ranking of states with children in need, according to a new report. The report, released yesterday by Massachusetts Citizens for Children, highlights new data from the U.S. Census Bureau that show 182,000 children, 13 percent of all children under age 18 in Massachusetts, lived below the federal poverty line last year, 4,000 more than in 2006. The report also noted how children of color are much more likely to live in poverty.

A Latina Heroine in Book Publishing

This interview features a conversation with Adriana Dominguez, the Executive Editor at Harper Collins Children's Books and Rayo. She specializes in books for children and young adult, particularly for the Latino market. Ms. Dominguez works on titles in Spanish and English, as well as in a bilingual format.

ESL Classes Filling up as Utah District Grows

On the first day of school, seven ninth- through 11th-grade students showed up for Alejandro Lopez' fifth-period English as a Second Language class at Tooele High School. The class was mixed, in terms of nationalities and English language abilities, although fairly homogenous in terms of the students' first language, with six of the seven students being native Spanish speakers. English as a Second Language classes have been growing as Tooele County's Spanish-speaking population has been growing.

Keeping Minds Healthy

Juliana Maximo was a little surprised the first time she walked out of Utah's Oquirrh View Community Health Center with a children's book. Not only had she been given advice about how to keep her child healthy, the doctors wanted to make sure she read to her daughter. Oquirrh View is participating in "Reach Out and Read," a coordinated nationwide effort to promote literacy at medical offices. Doctors and other medical professionals who have joined "Reach Out and Read" are trained to encourage parents to read to their children.

Success, in Any Language

Last year 9-year-old Yasmin Conchas and her classmates spoke English in the morning and Spanish in the afternoon as part of the two-way language immersion program at Oregon's Phoenix Elementary School. For the second year in a row Phoenix Elementary has beefed up English instruction in its two-way language program in response to reports that non-native Spanish speakers who graduated from the program were struggling with English in middle school.