Bravo to a bilingual program
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