Bravo to a bilin­gual pro­gram

Albuquerque Journal - - OP-ED -

MANY PAR­ENTS worry about what mid­dle school will be like for their kids. It’s such an es­pe­cially har­row­ing time for both kids and par­ents, as chil­dren grow into teenagers, with all kinds of ups and downs. You hear a lot of neg­a­tive sto­ries. I felt very ner­vous when my old­est daugh­ter started John Adams Mid­dle School four years ago.

My kids went to an ex­cel­lent dual-lan­guage pub­lic ele­men­tary school, Valle Vista, and con­tin­u­ing their bilin­gual ed­u­ca­tion has been an im­por­tant pri­or­ity for our fam­ily. Now that all three of them have fin­ished or are cur­rently at John Adams, I’m happy to say they’ve been for­tu­nate to be part of an ex­cel­lent bilin­gual pro­gram. Won­der­ful teach­ers across con­tent ar­eas — math, sci­ence and so­cial stud­ies — keep stu­dents’ lit­er­acy skills strong in both English and Spanish through dual-lan­guage in­struc­tion. This is an op­por­tu­nity New Mex­ico stu­dents en­joy that is unique to our won­der­fully di­verse pop­u­la­tion. Learn­ing Spanish and English side by side since kin­der­garten has been won­der­ful for my kids, chal­leng­ing them, ex­pos­ing them to friends of di­verse cul­tures and back­grounds, and giv­ing them the price­less gift of be­ing bilin­gual.

This year, I was so thrilled that John Adams Prin­ci­pal Modesta Hernández and her out­stand­ing bilin­gual staff have dou­bled the bilin­gual of­fer­ings at John Adams, adding Spanish Lan­guage Arts so stu­dents can work ex­plic­itly on their lit­er­acy skills in Spanish while con­tin­u­ing to use Spanish and English to learn math, so­cial stud­ies and sci­ence across all three grade lev­els.

At a time when APS has ex­pe­ri­enced bud­get cuts and many chal­lenges, the teach­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tion of John Adams Mid­dle School are show­ing their com­mit­ment to bilin­gual ed­u­ca­tion and putting stu­dents first. I com­mend them for their ef­forts and will shout from the rooftops so they get the ap­pre­ci­a­tion and recog­ni­tion that they de­serve. KELLY MCCLOSKEY-ROMERO Al­bu­querque

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