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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'This is not normal': Hundreds remember 11-year-old Karon Brown, urge end to gun violence

Outside Allen Chapel AME Church, schoolchildren mourning their friend lined up for cupcakes and goody bags filled with candy and decorated with photos of 11-year-old Karon Brown. Inside the sanctuary of the District church, light shone through the stained-glass windows, highlighting the display of green and blue balloons on the altar. Karon's name was spelled out on large blocks.

Michelle Obama and a NOVA Community College grad shared a stage and a message

A Northern Virginia Community College graduate sat in a cream-colored chair next to one of the nation's most accomplished women, former first lady Michelle Obama, and described his failures. But that's okay, Ariel Ventura-Lazo assured the 90 high school graduates who had come from New York, Philadelphia and the District to hear from adults who had been where they were heading. The students will soon become the first generation in their families to attend college.

Don't Have Lunch Money? A Pennsylvania School District Threatens Foster Care

Dozens of families in Pennsylvania received an alarming letter from their public school district this month informing parents that if their kid's lunch debt was not settled, their child could be removed from their home and placed in foster care. Wyoming Valley West School District, one of the poorest districts in the state as measured by per-pupil spending, is located in a former coal mining community in Northeastern Pennsylvania, known affectionately by locals as "The Valley."

Highly Recommended: AT THE MOUNTAIN'S BASE by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre

In February, 2018, Penguin announced it was launching a new imprint, Kokila, that would center "stories from the margins with books that add nuance and depth to the way children and young adults see the world and their place in it." On September 17 of this year (2019), Kokila will release At the Mountain's Base by Traci Sorell (she's a citizen of the Cherokee Nation) and illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre (she's Tongva/Scots-Gaelic). The book pays homage to the true history of female Native American U.S. service members like WWII pilot Ola Mildred "Millie" Rexroat.

Do English-Language Learners Get Stigmatized by Teachers? A Study Says Yes

Students are identified as English-language learners, in theory, to prevent educational inequity, but that classification may present another problem for children: teacher bias. Research from Ilana Umansky of the University of Oregon and Hanna Dumont of Germany's Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education suggests that English-learner classification has a "direct and negative effect on teachers' perceptions of students' academic skills."

'We can change something': These 13-year-olds found mold in their schools and did something about it

The runny noses, coughing and headaches flared inside the students’ biology classroom at George Washington Middle School in Northern Virginia — subsiding once the children left. They decided to take action, visiting classrooms to collect samples for a do-it-yourself mold-testing kit they ordered from a laboratory in South Carolina, then shipping the samples off to be analyzed. The results, which arrived a week or two later: 15 classrooms tested positive for mold. Spores were found on classroom ceiling tiles, in a main hallway and, eventually, the weight room, according to lab results.