ELL News Headlines

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The Lost Art of Play: Crossing Cultures to Build Connections

Moving countries generally means learning a new language, making new connections and, for children, learning new ways of playing. For kids from immigrant families who are settling in Canada, play can be a way to fit in and adapt to a new home. But some parents worry that these new ways of playing mean their children are losing touch with their family's cultural heritage.

First Book to Increase Digital Resources with Tablets

First Book, the largest U.S. educational network exclusively serving kids in need, has announced more resources to narrow the digital divide. The availability of 3,000 new tablets on its marketplace fulfills a demand of educators for more tools, such as e-books and learning games, and expands the use of devices in low-income communities.

This School for Refugees and Immigrants Pushes Young English-Learners to Aim Higher

For two years, The International High School at Langley Park (IHSLP), led by 32 year-old Principal Carlos Beato, has exclusively served immigrant and refugee students with a focus on English language learning. In its first year of existence, 98% of students improved on ESL scores — the highest growth for any high school in Prince George's County. That's especially impressive considering the students’ socioeconomic backgrounds: 99% of students qualify for free or reduced meals.

Girl Scouts Encouraged to Code as Well as Camp

Girl Scouts from Daisies to teen Ambassadors may earn 23 new badges focused on science, technology, engineering and math. It's the largest addition of new badges in a decade for Girl Scouts of the USA. The effort takes a progressive approach to STEM and also nudges girls to become citizen scientists using the great outdoors as their laboratory. Sylvia Acevedo, the head of the Girl Scouts, was one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University. Her first job was as a rocket scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. More recently Acevedo was a tech executive.

Mamá the Extraterrestrial: A Children's Story with a Serious Purpose

The Healdsburg Literary Guild, The Sonoma County Library, the City of Healdsburg and SHED present Mamá the Alien – Mamá la Extraterrestre, a bilingual storytelling program with a reading by René Colato Laínez, a Salvadoran/American children's author, on August 10.  In the story, Sofía has discovered a big secret. Mamá is an alien, una extraterrestre. At least that’s what it says on the card that fell out of her purse.

Chicago's Latino High Schools Face Big Drops In Enrollment — and Funding

Enrollment at Chicago Public Schools has been dropping for years, with particularly steep declines at the city's predominantly-black neighborhood high schools. CPS has predicted that trend will continue, but numbers released by CPS this week also indicate the district expects large declines at schools with mostly Latino students. Enrollment declines are watched closely because fewer students mean fewer dollars for the schools. Of Chicago's 95 high schools, 45 are projected to lose enrollment — and money — this fall.

Getting Kids Interested in Poetry

Poet and educator Kwame Alexander stops by to chat about poetry with NPR's Rachel Martin. He shares some ideas for poems to read with kids and tips for getting kids to write some of their own.

Virginia High School Gets a Boost for Some of Its Neediest Immigrant Students

When Jessica Milliken arrived at J.E.B. Stuart High School in 2015 to head a program for recent arrivals to the United States, many of the students she helped oversee had left school in the sixth grade and spoke little or no English, having fled violence and instability in their homelands. Now, Stuart High is getting a $50,000 grant from Virginia to help teachers develop curriculum for its most challenged immigrant students, young people who may have the drive and the capacity to learn but have major academic gaps.

The Challenge of Reaching Hungry Kids When School Is Out

Summertime is supposed to be fun for children and families, but for millions, the absence of free school meals or discounted lunches is a cause for worry. Special correspondent Lisa Stark of Education Week reports from Nebraska on how food banks try to bridge the gap.

Summer Language Program Brings International Flavor to Gonzaga

More than 400 refugees and immigrants have come to Gonzaga University to improve their English skills. In many Washington communities, people from Latin American nations are most prominent. And it’s true that there are many Spanish speakers here this week. But Hunter says the groups most represented come from other parts of the world. "I think the biggest pre-registration group this year was from the Marshall Islands, Marshallese. We’ve had before Russian speakers for a long time," Dr. James Hunter, program leader, said.