Celebrating Dual Language
The tenth anniversary of the founding of the Huntington School District's dual language program was celebrated with a year-end party that attracted hundreds of students, parents and teachers. The evening featured delicious foods, warm friendship and songs, poems and dances.
Carmen Kasper, the district's director of world languages, English as a second language and bilingual programs said dual language program classes kicked off in September 2002 at Southdown Primary School on the kindergarten level and parents have been supportive ever since.
"Now, at the end of 2011/12, we have a total of 16 classes," Ms. Kasper said. "We will be adding two new fourth grade classes in the 2012/13 school year; one in the Washington School and the other at Flower Hill School. Two bilingual teachers have been appointed to these positions already."
The end-of-year celebration was held at Huntington High School to accommodate the large crowd. Ms. Kasper called the entertainment segment of the evening a "wonderful presentation" and parents would agree. "Each school's performance was different," she said. "Some sang songs while others read poems or danced to American or Latin music." Colorful outfits and impressive creativity was on display.
Huntington's dual language teachers were recognized for their continuing dedication to the program and commitment to their students. Southdown School second grade DL teacher David Crimi was presented with special honors for his work over the years. He has resigned his position in the district and is moving with his family to Thailand to teach in an international school there.
"It is important to keep in mind that the DL teachers have to be proficient in two languages to be able to teach not only language arts, but all the subjects in the content area as well," Ms. Kasper said. "They have to fulfill the same curriculum and state testing requirements that all teachers in the monolingual classes do. The dual language teachers are of the highest caliber not only as professionals, but as colleagues and as friends. The program's great success would not be possible without the contribution of each and every one of them!"
Washington School dual language program parents Rachel Bacheler, Danielle Francis, Carissa Kretschmer, Jennifer Lewis, Jennifer Simon and Debra Michel all pitched in to decorate the high school stage for the student performances. "The evening's success would not have been possible without their support," Ms. Kasper said.