ARPS Biliteracy Program
Julissa Reyes Alvarado, a bilingual student at Fort River elementary school, talks about what being bilingual means to them. They say: “That gives me the opportunity to know different cultures and communicate with my family out[side] of [the] USA. I am proud of my Mexican and Salvadorian roots.”
Milena Sedrakyan, a multilingual ARHS student, reflects on why it’s important to know their home language. They say: “It’s such a good way to connect to your heritage… to connect with your culture… where you’re from.”
As a way of celebrating multilingualism and supporting students to strengthen the languages they speak at home, as well as new languages that they are learning, ARPS offers a program called the Seal of Biliteracy.
The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by the State Department of Education and local school districts to students who have proficiency in English as well as one or more additional languages learned in school or another setting (such as the student’s home). Last year, 18 students earned the Seal of Biliteracy!
Once a student successfully earns the Seal of Biliteracy, they will have a seal that appears on their transcript or diploma, which shows future employers and potential colleges that they are bilingual.
ARPS will be offering the official State Seal of Biliteracy to graduating seniors in spring of 2022, as well as Biliteracy Pathway Awards to students in grades 6 and 8.
In addition to offering testing for the Seal of Biliteracy, ARPS hosts weekly Biliteracy Clubs. Biliteracy Clubs are open to all students who speak two languages, or students who have an interest in other languages and/or cultures. In Biliteracy Clubs, we believe that speaking more than one language is a superpower! Here are some things that we do together in our Biliteracy Clubs:
-Together, students work with a mentor to increase their skills in English and a language of their choice.
-Students who are interested prepare for the Seal of Biliteracy award.