Working Together for a Bright Future

Bilingual Advisory Committee offers workshop for parents

Approximately 30 families had the opportunity to get a head start on summer learning thanks to the district’s Bilingual Advisory Committee’s workshop on June 12 at Sabater Elementary School. 
The Bilingual Advisory Committee meetings focus on educating parents of bilingual/ESL students so that they can better help their children learn. The focus on the end-of-the-year workshop was fun, educational activities for children using items from the dollar store. As the families arrived, they could see the long row of labeled boxes overflowing with grade and objective-specific activities neatly put together in ziplocked containers. Families were also treated to a light dinner as they listened to the presentation. 
Following an introduction from Dr. JoAnne Negrin, Supervisor of ESL, World Languages, Bilingual Education, and Performing Arts, parents listened and took notes during the presentation given by Jessica Mercado Santana, first grade bilingual teacher at Sabater, and Shirley Santos, bilingual basic skills teacher at Sabater. Instructions on how to perform each activity was narrated in both English and Spanish. 
“Parent and family engagement and teaching families how to create learning activities with inexpensive everyday objects is a passion for Ms. Mercado Santana,” said Negrin. Mercado Santana has previously presented on the topic at the NJTESOL/NJBE Spring Conference. 
The Bilingual Advisory Committee is a required component to bilingual education programs in the state. Negrin credits Santos with building the committee into what it is today.
“Special thanks must be given to Ms. Santos,” said Negrin. “As a community leader, she has taken the initiative in bringing families informational and entertaining activities to our families. I give her credit for making the Bilingual Advisory Committee the strong, vibrant community link that it is today.”
The Bilingual Advisory Committee typically meets four times per year. Meetings are held in both Spanish and English, with interpreters for other languages provided, if needed. All parents of English Language Learners and other interested community members are welcome to attend.

Click the following link for a gallery of photos from the event: