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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Sesame Street Plans Social-Emotional Learning Program for Refugee Children

The Sesame Workshop hopes the friendly faces of Sesame Street characters will help refugee children navigate the complex social and emotional effects of trauma and displacement. The organization is teaming with the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian organization, to "deliver transformative early learning and social-emotional support to millions of refugee children in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria," it said in a news release Thursday.

Supporting English-Language Learners in Science (Video)

Anna Dearlove, a 2nd grade teacher at Glen Park Elementary School in San Francisco, introduces academic language to prepare English-language learners for their science investigations. Students work in pairs and make claims about variations in plants and animals.

Scientists Take on New Roles in K-12 Classrooms

As schools work to implement the Next Generation Science Standards, practicing scientists are also rethinking how they work with schools to advance understanding of their field. The National Board on Science Education, part of the National Academies of Science, brought together science educators and members of professional science groups like the American Chemical Society last month to discuss guidance for developing partnerships between scientists and teachers.

'Juntos' Program Preparing Latino Students for High School and Beyond

It's Sunday afternoon and a half dozen middle school students are gathered with their parents for a class in the basement at Olivet Presbyterian Church and Mission in Cedar Rapids. This is "Juntos" — or "Together" — a class offered by Iowa State University Extension that aims to teach Latino families how to navigate Iowa's school system and students how to be successful in high school and beyond.

Kunkush the Refugee Cat Stars in a New Children's Book

In the midst of the worldwide migration of refugees, one small story documented in a just-released picture book for children carries a spot of sunshine amid so many tales of upheaval and struggle — the story of Kunkush the cat, a beloved pet that a family fleeing Mosul, Iraq, found it impossible to leave behind. "Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey," by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes and illustrated by Sue Cornelison, was published this week by Crown Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House. 

AFT President Urges Big-City Mayors to Shield Immigrant Students, Families

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, is calling on the nation's big-city mayors to set up safe havens for immigrants after federal agents arrested nearly 700 undocumented residents in a series of raids conducted over the past week. Child advocates say the recent immigration sweeps and future actions on immigration policy by the Trump administration could disrupt home lives, separate families, and have a "chilling effect" on children and communities.

Camino Nuevo Offers Families a Bilingual Choice

At 10 years old, Audrey Campos is the one who helps her 18-year-old cousin communicate with their grandparents. Unlike her cousin, Audrey speaks Spanish. That's thanks, in part, to the public school she attends, part of the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy network. Maria Campos, Audrey's mom, chose this school – the Sandra Cisneros campus in the Camino Nuevo network – over other options in the area primarily for its bilingual program. "I see kids whose first language was Spanish but they’re losing it," Campos said. "Right now, we’re living in a country where, if you speak more than one language, you have more opportunities. I want that for my kids."

City Leaves Spanish-Speaking Parents in Dark About Lead Levels for a Week

The Department of Education waited more than a week to send home a letter to Spanish-speaking parents at a dual-language Inwood school about their water's lead levels found during a recent test — blaming the principal for not asking for a translated version. On Feb. 6, parents at the P.S./I.S. 176 campus, which houses Muscota New School and Amistad Dual Language School at 4862 Broadway, got a letter in their children's backpacks that the school had shown elevated levels of lead in a dozen water samples taken from classrooms, bathrooms, kitchen faucets and water fountains — including some as high as 450 times the federal threshold. The letter was written in English — despite the fact that Amistad is a dual-language school and that many parents and students at Muscota speak Spanish.

Uncertainties as Congress Takes Aim at ESSA Regulations

A push by Republicans in Congress to overturn accountability regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act could have far-reaching consequences for how the law works in states, and the potential end of the much-contested rules is dividing the education community. Groups supporting the move argue that it would free schools from unnecessary burdens, while opponents contend that overturning the rules could hurt vulnerable students and create turmoil in states and districts trying to finalize their transition to ESSA, the 2015 law that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act.