Carver Dual Language Scholar Wins National Essay Contest

Fifth-grader earns trip to bilingual education conference in Las Vegas

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Kansas City, January 16, 2020:  A Carver Dual Language Elementary student’s love of bilingual learning has translated into a national recognition and an all-expense-paid trip to an education conference.

Fifth-grader Sarah Reyna was recently selected as the winner of an essay contest hosted by the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE). The essay was submitted by Miss Reyna’s Spanish literacy teacher, Morgan McPartland.

Reyna wrote about why she thinks bilingual education is important.

“Bilingual education gives you the ability to interact with more people,” she said. “It makes you feel closer to others and to care for others.”

As a result of her successful essay, Reyna will receive $500 and a free-of-charge trip for her and her mom to the awards ceremony at the NABE Conference, which will be held Feb. 25-28 in Las Vegas, Nev. She was shocked when she learned that her essay was the national winner.

“I was so surprised and happy,” Reyna said. “I’m excited to be able to take my mom on this trip!”

Students at Carver Dual Language are expected to be truly bilingual and bi-literate in Spanish and English by the time they complete sixth grade, Principal Michael Coulter explained. While students work to become proficient in a second language, they also develop an increased cultural awareness while reaching a high level of academic achievement. Students develop proficiency in the second language by hearing and using it to learn all of their school subjects rather than by studying the language itself.

Reyna’s essay is a great example of the kind of outcomes teachers see all the time at Carver, Mr. Coulter said. He credited Ms. McPartland for her classroom skills and for taking the initiative to have her students participate in the essay contest.

“We’re really proud of Sarah and all of her classmates,” he said. “Our teachers do an amazing job of accelerating learning for their students. That’s the power of dual language education.”

Visit www.kcpublicschools.org/carver to learn more about Carver Dual Language Elementary.

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